Wednesday, May 13, 2015
I was approached last November by a passionate 1Pulse team member, Ashwaq Al Maskari, about their new project The Lounge. She reminded me about the Book Club I once suggested 1Pulse should host and she offered me the chance to personally start it with my choice of group members as part of the project. I don’t want to tell you about The Lounge in the traditional way of talking about projects; you can read all about it in details on their social media accounts (@TheLoungeOman on Twitter and Instagram). I’ll take the time to explain how The Lounge has and is affecting me since it started.
I think I met the team members for the first time in January and I fell in love with their enthusiasm and dedication to offer what they can to the youth. After listening to two of the members explain the project idea I got a flashback of sitting in the University of Leeds' student union -and in specific- the common room. During breaks in between classes, my friends and I would head to the common room after buying coffee and snacks from the Hidden Cafe and would sit and talk about anything and everything; from the Souviet Union to the Arabic culture and personal experiences. Sitting in the common room was one of the things I miss the most about my university life so you could imagine my excitement when I realised The Lounge's experience will be something similar.
I am happy to tell you that The Lounge hasn't, so far, failed to impress me and I hope it continues that way. Since day 1, the team included us in decissions to be made which created a sence of belonging even before seeing the actual Lounge. The comfy area makes The Lounge feel like home, I literally take my shoes off and help myself to a cup of coffee surrounded by people that I've learned to cherish after only a couple of times meeting them.
Every detail on the wall shouts youth and inspiration, I love it. I've had intense discussions about things as random as unicorns to more serious things like the management of free time and life plans. The entire team being younger than I am and standing proudly in The Lounge are inspiring enough to work on projects I've had in mind but never even put them on paper. I could say a few of the 1Pulse members know me at a raw level and know my concerns towards my future. I continue to go to The Lounge to be inspired by those around me and to hopefully figure things out while sitting in an area that doesn't judge your confusion even if you're older. I love how the team enjoys sharing their life experiences so far and talk about future plans I'm sure they'll accomplish.
I sometimes feel like I have nothing to offer in return to The Lounge for being Leeds away from Leeds and a plot of inspiration but I hope my attendance, contributions and loud thoughts to the different events and workshops will be of any help. Hats off to the entire 1Pulse team. I really hope The Lounge will continue to be an inspirational destination for the youth. I'll start the Book Club and will continue to attend workshops and events showing my utmost support to The Lounge for it to continue the journey to inspiration.