The Open Water Traverse from Cyprus to Lebanon

The Open Water Traverse from Cyprus to Lebanon

Soumaya Merhi is a 33-year-old open water swimmer from Lebanon and founder of TAQA Snacks, a Lebanese bakery offering healthy and plant-based oat cookies and energy bars. 

Two years ago, her company supported The Open Water Swim Traverse, a six-person relay and a 10-minute film about a team that swam 180 km from Cyprus to BatrounLebanon. Their focus was raising awareness on issue of single-use plastic and its impact on the Mediterranean Sea.

The film was directed by Edwin El Bainou that took 51 hours 50 minutes to finish in October 2019.  The film won the Best Short Film at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival and was shown at this year’s Kendal Mountain Festival.

Merhi teamed up with 40-year-old Jad El Ghosn, 36-year-old Diane Boulos, 59-year-old Mary Anne Reese Ballouz, 44-year-old May El Timani, and 45-year-old Martin Mougharbil in 2019. The crew that assisted and supported the team included medical assistance Doctor Elianne Khoury, and escort pilots Adel AssalJoseph Boulos, and Ziad Salhab with sponsorship and collaboration by Exocet Sailing, Batroun Municipality, Maroun N. Chammas Recognition Award, MTV Lebanon, Batroun Festival, LWIS School, IM Capital, Clemenceau Medical Center, and Bolero Batroun.

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Steven Munatones