Raised in Lebanon, Manal studied Landscape Architecture at the American University of Beirut and holds a master’s degree in Lighting Design from Parsons. Thereafter, she worked in the USA for four years before deciding to come back to Lebanon to try and bridge both worlds through lighting. However, her return to to Lebanon was more difficult than anticipated with the unfolding of an economic, financial, and monetary crisis as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, and finally on the 4th of August 2020, the biggest non-nuclear explosion ever recorded. This catastrophe unlocked feelings of communal support triggered by the complete absence of any relief efforts on the part of the Lebanese government. As a result, Manal decided to use her knowledge and experience to partake in relief efforts both as an active citizen and a lighting activist.