Recommended Video: The Man Who Cultivates Lebanon’s Wild Herb / by Nasri Atallah

Absolutely beautiful film by Nay Aoun.

"Mohammad Ali Neimeh's — better known as Abu Kassem — life revolves around Za’atar, Lebanon wild thyme plant. During the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon, he needed to change the way thyme was grown, out of fear he would be shot or shelled trying to get to his plants in the wild. The changes that he implemented have seen huge changes in the way that thyme is now grown in Lebanon. This is his story."

Nay has also produced and directed two other films about the slower, more meditative — and disappearing — side of Lebanon. The Backgammon Artisans (https://vimeo.com/208229697) and Keeping It In The Family: 100 Years of Dibs Kharroub (https://vimeo.com/196710217). 

What I really love about Nay's films is that they don't traffic in Lebanese nostalgia-porn, although the subjects would easily lend themselves to that. They tell human stories, and the truly affecting parts of them are about relationships and resilience and just putting up with life for ages. Truly beautiful.