A year ago my head began to reject my hair, like those places in which I’ve lived, the countries that rejected me. Land after land, one place after another: Palestine, Syria, and now, Lebanon—those countries that have failed and have burdened me with their failure.
The Gulf War, the family’s constant sundering. Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Berlin: parts of myself scattered across all these places. My memory, riddled with holes. My present and my death.
In Umbilical Cord I assemble an archive of my family in Kuwait: my dead memory of family. I embark on a quest for the unknown part of my family in South Lebanon: for the family’s missing name. I trek through North Syria searching for my Syrian-ness. I translate my endlessly repeated nightmare through and against the nightmares of Amer, a companion from my study days, work, arrest, and exile. And through it all I am assailed by those six days in detention, the days I dropped wholesale down the well of my memory, just like I did with my journey, only for my latest illness to bring me face to face with my memory and face-to-face with myself.
This film has received the support of Bidayyat’s documentary grant 2015