This Body: My Eucharist.


  On Samira al-Khalil’s Diaries of Seige in Douma (in Arabic). Al-Mousaasah al-Arabiyya lil Dirasat wal Nashr, 2016.   Samira has disappeared. Here is her book on my bed. I looked for Samira al-Khalil’s book in four bookstores in Beirut. Then, I sent her husband Yassin al-Hajj Saleh a Facebook message to help me locate a copy. That is when I discovered that he had bought all the copies, effectively taking the book out of the market. Only as a gift—this book. Yassin put me in touch with a young friend of Samira’s. The friend responded immediately. We made plans to meet the... more
#Article  # Douma  # Samira al-Khalil  ...



  From the besieged Eastern Ghouta and with the participation of the people of Douma, This Video was filmd. For this video to see the light means that all the barriers of injustice, siege, bombardment and airstrikes can’t prevent this song from reaching its people and leave its mark. “Meen?” (Who?) is the question that Douma’s families ask again to themselves, to us, and to the world, on the beat of Bu Nasser's song, sending greetings from Douma to Bekaa and from there to Beirut and Lebanon. “Meen?” (Who?) every time you ask this question you get a step closer to the truth.   Tatlit Bu Nasser... more
#Siege  # Douma  # Saeed al Batal  ...

A cigarette, and my anti-aircraft camera


    That day, just after noon, as I was on my way to the cigarette stall (a small table, chairs, a few packs of cigarette of two or three brands, all of them open because they are sold singly) the heavens rang. It was the whistling again, the sound that had begun to play on my nerves, the huge hit of adrenalin freezing everything, even time. The sound of an aircraft, which  you hear when you step outside, or more precisely, when you step outside and realize, instinctively, that you are directly inside the target zone.   In films, time stops at such... more

passée les yeux fermés?


Faubourg de Damas, Jobar a connu, lors des premiers mois de la révolution syrienne, en 2011, des dizaines de manifestations pacifiques, réprimées dans la sang. Passée aux mains de l'opposition en novembre 2012 cette ville de la Ghouta orientale est bombardée depuis lors par le régime. Depuis avril 2014, le régime d'Assad, soutenu par des combattants du Hezbollah libanais, multiplie les offensives pour la reprendre, sans succès pour le moment.     J'étais à deux doigts de tomber de la remorque! Nous étions trois, à l'arrière d'un petit pick-up transportant deux énormes marmites de riz cuisiné. A mesure qu'on approchait du panneau annonçant l'unique " Entrée... more
#Douma  # East Gouta  # Jobar  ...

Article about "our terrible country" in the Artforum by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie


IN THE SUMMER OF 2013, the Syrian writer Yassin al-Haj Saleh took a dangerous journey from the rebel-held city of Douma to his hometown of Raqqa, now the headquarters of the so-called Islamic State, across the border to southern Turkey and on to Istanbul. One of the foremost intellectuals of his generation and widely considered the sage of the Syrian revolution (hakim al-thawra), Haj Saleh had been in hiding for two years. When he won a Prince Claus Award in 2012, he delivered his acceptance speech—an eloquent response to the twinned questions: why revolt and why write—from an undisclosed location in Damascus. “I... more

The lady with the blue scarf


A year has passed since the kidnapping of Razan Zeytouneh, Samira al Khalil, Wael Hamadeh and Nazem Hamadi From this office. Till this day, the scarf of Razan remains untouched and in the wait. Till this day, the identity of the perpetrators remains an open secret.  

Eyes shut, worry-free


  I almost fell out of the vehicle! We were sitting in the back of a small pick-up, we three and two large pots of cooked rice. The closer we got to the sign that read Jawbar: Only Entrance the more the twenty-year old behind the wheel drove like he was in the final stages of a rally race. This was the most heavily bombarded point in the district: not five minutes would pass without another shell coming over from Qassiyoun. Today was different… The battle for Maliha had come to end a few days before, after more than one hundred and forty... more
#Douma  # East Gouta  #Saeed Al batal  ...

Syria, “Our terrible country” and our disappointment with the West, by Graham Douglas


  The well-known Syrian writer and intellectual Yassin Haj Saleh left his home in Douma, met up with two film-maker friends in Raqqa, and all three continued to Turkey, filming their journey as they went. Yassin’s wife Samira remained behind, until Yassin could return for her – she has since been abducted.    Graham Douglas    Ziad Homsi has known Yassin since Yassin moved to Douma, and together with his friend Mohammed Ali Atassi, the two film-makers accompanied Yassin on this journey, searching for a safe route by which to return for Samira.    Yassin al Haj Saleh is a prominent intellectual and dissident, who was imprisoned... more

About Bidayyat's films production on "Voice of America" by Heather Murdock


Syrian filmmakers are touring European film festivals this week, screening "Our Terrible Country," a film that explores an intergenerational friendship amid kidnappings, war and exile.    In this documentary, a young man named Ziad laughs with his white-haired companion, Yassin. They are in Turkey, having fled Syria after Ziad was captured and tortured by Islamic State militants. Yassin is in exile, fearing both the government and the Islamic State.   The film is not about what happened in the past, said its director, Ali Atassi.  It was happening as they were shooting. "I did stop shooting when Ziad was arrested by the Islamic State," Atassi... more



DOUMA—We have lost sight of the outside world, a gift that other people take for granted. Our universe has become so small and shattered. "The universe starts in Al-Mleiha and ends in Douma," Abo Mahmoud told me one night, referring to two of the suburbs in our besieged world of East Ghouta, a conurbation just outside Damascus. Time slipped by as we sat his dim room, illuminated only by a tiny battery-powered bulb. Abo Mahmoud is only forty but he looks like an elderly man. I remember how he was back in 2011, when the demonstrations began: young in spirit... more
#Douma  # Ghouta  # Saeed Albatal  ...

I bear the camera like a shield: No one escapes the massacre, except the dead


I still remember—way back in the mists of the distant past—that warm feeling when I first picked up a camera. As though I was experiencing a prophecy that one day I would use this instrument until I wore it away to nothing. Back then I carried it like a sceptre; today I bear the camera like a shield. Today, I remember the first time I literally did this—bore it like a shield. I’ve forgotten many dates and events, but that day—June 26, 2012—stays engraved in my memory. At the end of a long and tiring day my feet led me,... more
#Ghouta  # Saeed  # Camera  ...