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I've been following @ramizoya for years. His images are mostly of some inventive Lego scenes, and cycling. I share a LOT of interest in cycling and very little in Lego. Yet it's the Lego that drew me in...
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There's a great sense of humour, fun and JOY in these images that I started to get really into. Then, as I saw the places Rami was cycling around, I realised he lives in Lebanon. 
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I started thinking about how the world sees Lebanon, because it's just about all we see of it, via the news: War, refugees, division, danger. Northern Ireland has got the same bad rap, because as humans we most often build a picture from simple repetitive messages. Negative imagery is very easy to recall.
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Actually go to a place and you realise it's unfairly skewed. One of the great wonders of travel is forming new and personal opinions. Often far more positive than expected. We need that right now (yes I'm talking Brexit). 
frahm jacket lego rami zoya
For me, Northern Ireland is beautiful. Really beautiful. I cycled around a decent chunk of it. Went down a hill at 63mph, my record! Good memories.
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What would a trip to the Lebanon hold for me? Us? At a time of ever increasing simplification and compartmentalising of races, countries and issues, we are all just humans. We like a laugh, we like making stuff and living life. 
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Images like Rami's are fun, intricate and joyful. They also serve to remind us that it's ok. We're all just doing humane stuff in interesting different places. We are the same. That imagination, curiousity and an open mind is important for us all.
frahm jacket lego rami zoya
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Here's what Rami had to say:
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"LEGO has played a huge part in my childhood, I still have most of the LEGO bricks I used to play years back. 
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They remind me of the simple days we used to have in our childhood away from mobile phones, tablets, and video games.
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Those days were the best and I encourage parents nowadays to buy LEGO sets instead of tablets for their children. It's the best gift any kid would wish for.
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A year ago, I started working on LEGO MOCs [My Own Creations - Ed] to portray different messages and to shed light on specific events happening around.

Due to the lack of resources in Lebanon, I use CAD software to create my LEGO MOCs.
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The media always highlight the ugly picture and never focus on the bright side. However, with all the bad news you hear on Media, the country has a lot of great things worth visiting and exploring.
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A lot of foreigners are coming here touring and sight seeing the old cities of Lebanon and enjoying the beautiful sceneries we have and tasting our mouthwatering food.
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Along with that, we have nice villages, trails, and roads that are perfect to explore. You are always welcome to visit Lebanon and would love to take you around."
frahm jacket lego rami zoya
frahm jacket lego rami zoya
frahm jacket lego rami zoya
frahm jacket lego rami zoya
frahm jacket lego rami zoya
frahm jacket lego rami zoya


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