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Aylan and Omran, or the How the Age of their Image Ended

24/10/2016

  In black and white, the man in the picture clutches the truck window. He is charred. For some reason, the flames could not entirely erase his features, so it looks as though he is grinding his teeth, attempting to escape the burning vehicle. But fire was quicker and stronger, confining him as he wrestled with death until the last breath.   The man is an Iraqi soldier whose picture was taken on what is known as the Highway of Death, the road that connects Northern Kuwait to Southern Iraq. This is where, in the 1991 Gulf War, the Allied Forces stroke an... more
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#The image  # Syria  # Diana Moukalled  ...

A new Wave of Syrian Films Exposes the Failure of Images

19/09/2016

  In an increasingly appalling atmosphere of political stagnation, failed negotiations, and yet another ceasefire that won’t last, there is at least some good news coming out from Syria these days. A new wave of talented filmmakers is silently but powerfully emerging in the midst of a social media-driven compulsion to upload images nonstop and share them in real time.   In the immediate aftermath of the March 2011 uprising, Syrian activists and ordinary citizens have widely employed filmmaking to bear witness and denounce human rights abuses, in the hope that the sheer amount of visual media will provoke outrage and push the... more
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#The image  # Syria  # Films  ...

Syrian Victims Teaching the World Regret

05/09/2016

  On July 2, 2016, the Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel died. As fate would have it, he witnessed in his lifetime another Holocaust; similar to the one he survived.   Although Wiesel is barely remembered, his death in 2016 reminds us that there have been major devastations, the danger and scale of which speak to what is happening today.   There are several differences between the two eras; between the time when Jews were unwillingly turned into a people and today, when an entire people is turned into the Jews of this century:... more
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#The image  # Syria  # Jon Rich  ...

Article in the “Agenda Culturel” on the short film “Yaman”

17/03/2016

    ‘Yaman’ c’est le nouveau court-métrage saisissant des artistes syriens du collectif Maajooneh qui a pu être réalisé grâce notamment au soutien de l’ONG Bidayyat. Ce film est donc l’œuvre d’artistes exilés depuis quelques années, au Liban et en Turquie, qui racontent par leur art l’anéantissement progressif de toute forme d’innocence dans leur pays et pour le peuple syrien.   Après avoir réalisé un court-métrage intitulé ‘Fade To Black’, qui évoquait la transformation de la situation de la ville de Raqqa devenue capitale de la barbarie et de l’inhumanité, le film, sans paroles, montrait simplement l’évolution émotionnelle et vestimentaire d’une jeune femme, prise... more
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#Yaman  # Children  # Syria  ...

Yaman

22/02/2016

  Yaman is a young inventor. His greatest invention is an incredible machine which can turns tissues into incredible ones, an invention that helps him survive.      Director : Amer Albarzawi Duration : 04.05 Produced by: Bidayyat  Year of production: 2016        
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#Yaman  # Children  # Syria  

“The icon of the Syrian diaspora: On the picture of the drowned child, Aylan

01/10/2015

  In the digital information age, examining this image (which constituted a major humanitarian event the minute it was released) is an attempt to analyse the image’s relationship with the social reality of a given group of people, with political events, and to understand the potential trajectories of the image within the media, while avoiding the dictates of the fast news cycle and the emotionalism of immediate response. The photograph of Aylan, the drowned child, was first released on September 2 and it continues to appear in various contexts. The latest issue of the Islamic State’s Dabiq magazine, which is also... more

The Sea Belongs To Mariam” a film by Wael Hamada

22/09/2015

  The film explores the subject of exile and the impact this has on the refugee in terms of the lack of options in his or her host culture, as told through the story of Mariam, a Syrian woman who has taken the decision to move out of central Beirut and onto the narrow sidewalk along the city’s Corniche. She makes her home there and takes the open sea as her lover and source of income, so she starts fishing and she finds in the sea, her salvation and inner peace.   The film also addresses the subject of migration by sea, the... more

“Skin” a film by Afraa Batous

21/09/2015

  Skin follows the director’s personal journey through vivid memories of two of her closest friends, Hussein and Soubhi, living in politically and socially tiring times. She documents their gradual collapse, which, as she realizes later, reflects her own inner collapse.   This film has received the support of Bidayyat’s documentary grant 2015
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#Afraa Batous  # Skin  # Grant  ...

“Umbilical Cord”, a film by Doha Hassan

21/09/2015

  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... more
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#Memory  # Exile  # Palestine  ...

" Chaos", a film by Sara Fattahi

21/09/2015

  Two women have given up on life; their words have stopped in their tracks. One exiles herself to silence; the other attempts to disappear in the company of four female poets who, before her, have attempted themselves to disappear in one way or another. A dialogue between one woman stuck in Damascus and another who had recently left the city. A dialogue between two worlds, internal and external—an impossible one.   This film has received the support of Bidayyat’s documentary grant 2015    

13/08/2015

  "9½ -that's the age of Maha, a Syrian girl and the only survivor of her family. Left on her own, with a picture of her family all that is left, she embarks on a journey in her world made up of the visual experiences she accumulated and witnessed in the Syrian situation. During this journey, Maha makes unusual friends, with her imagination guiding her with sarcasm through this difficult world.       Director: Syrialism Duration: 07:34 min Year of production: 2015 Produced by: Bidayyat
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#Syrialism  # Childhood  # Immigrants  ...

The Camera and the Samopal

17/06/2015

  The sky fell. The rusty fragments of metal rent air thick with the reek of bodies burnt by artillery fire and napalm. The buildings, warring with the thickets of lance-like rifles, groaned in the pitch-black night, alive with the endless screams of people who could find no way to live save tearing one another to pieces.   The sky dropped earthwards with the falling barrel, the distance between it and the machine guns and the gore-drenched bodies beneath less than the distance that divides the 50mm lens in the bag from the 55mm lens on the camera. The barrel takes seven seconds... more
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#Orwa Al Mokdad  # Aleppo  # ISIS  ...

A home on a rainbow

04/06/2015

  “3 years ago, the inhabitants of “Al Marj” refugee camp located in the Bikaa Valley, fled from different regions in Syria to find refuge in Lebanon. Instead of finding a safe haven, they were subjected to a sudden order of evacuation on the grounds of the tents being in proximity to a military zone. The authorities granted the refugees only 5 days to dismantle their laboriously built tents, without offering any alternative settlement option.”   Director: Rami Nihawi, Lina Alabed and Nadim Deaibes Duration: 14:14 min Year of production: 2015 Produced by: Bidayyat

The image of the oppressor and the image of the victim in war

02/04/2015

  Since the start of the Syrian revolution, debate has raged over the importance of the image, its potency and the different ways by which one can engage with it. In this article, we attempt to participate in this debate from a different angle: dealing with the power of the image, its aims, its audience and the ease (or difficulty) of accessing it, by reference to what is technically known as “hors champ” or “out of frame”—a concept that incorporates both the problem at hand and a means to solve it.     The power of the image   History tells us, unfortunately, that in wartime... more
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#the image  # Syria   # War  ...

“During Your Death” a film by Rafia Salama

20/02/2015

Death has come to dominate the lives of Syrians. They have grown used to it; it’s the thing they are most familiar with. But what happens when one of them cannot get used to it? Rafia is a young woman from Damascus who is terrified of the ever-increasing incidence of death around her. She starts asking questions, a quest that is an attempt to face her fears. She talks to a pious family man who sees in death the joy of meeting with God, a woman who lost her son, who has to live with his death on a daily basis,... more
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#Death  # Syria  # Family  ...

“Threads” a film by Rima Al Hamed

20/02/2015

All I know about my grandmother Evdokia is that more than a century ago she made her way barefoot from Turkey to Syria, fleeing the massacres against the Armenians; that she hid her identity and ethnicity, changed religions and gave brought forth my family. Perhaps it was my sense that our stories were similar that led me to look closer at her life. For I have immigrated back to Turkey, due to the bloody events now taking place in Syria. My interest in her story began with a desire to overcome my fraught relationship with my mother, who found in our conversations... more
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#Syria  # Armenians  # Massacre  ...

”Suzi …Where does all This Violence Come From?” a film by Reem Ali

20/02/2015

The Syrian revolution prompted me to rummage through the tales concealed in my family home in the village of Quatna  (30 km south of Damascus), stories I had never once discussed with my family. The house, which my father—an opponent of the Syrian regime during the presidencies of Assad senior and his son—was determined would be a small country of its own, independent of the Baath dictatorship… My father, who during the 1980s suffered from tyranny, the silencing of voicing and the suppression of freedoms, became consumed by his own private dictatorial inclinations, which manifested themselves most clearly in his relationship... more
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#Syria  # Revolution  # Family  ...

Syria in its Own Image,interview with Mohammad Ali Atassi by Grace Bello

17/02/2015

Mohammad Ali Atassi’s new documentary about Syria, Our Terrible Country, (Baladna Alraheeb) defines itself by what it is not. It is not a tutorial on the Syrian civil war. It is not a macabre spectacle of bodies, victims of either the Assad regime or ISIS. Instead, it’s a portrait of two very different faces of the Syrian left—one, the film’s co-director Ziad Homsi, a young filmmaker turned soldier in the Free Syrian Army; and the other, Yassin al-Haj Saleh, a former political prisoner and a writer and intellectual. Together, they embark on a tripartite journey from the wreckage of Douma, to... more

Article in the New York times "When a Revolt Goes Wrong" by ANNE BARNARD

16/01/2015

BEIRUT, Lebanon — In the early scenes of the Syrian documentary “Our Terrible Country,” the leftist writerYassin al-Haj Saleh explores the ruins of a rebellious Damascus suburb, his clean-shaven face, Lenin-style cap and pristine clothes marking him as a recent arrival from the mostly intact government-controlled downtown. The camera and the man behind it, a young photographer and sometime insurgent calling himself Ziad al-Homsi, approach Mr. Saleh with reverence. It is mid-2013, two years into Syria’s revolt. Hopes for easy victory over President Bashar al-Assad are long gone, yet Mr. Saleh still has far more skin in the game than his peers,... more

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

01/12/2014

  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 production "I am Blue" by Abo Ghabi written by Jinnfer Machenzie

21/10/2014

In at least one place where tomorrow feels lost, music still fills the gashed present with a kind of home-made mercy. The place is Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee Camp outside Damascus, the present is a siege of over 450 days, and the music—unlike water and electricity–keeps flowing unstoppably from Ayham Ahmad’s battered upright piano.   Much more than a mere soundtrack, this music is the hero of the short, bittersweet documentary “I Am Blue”, which pays homage to Ayham’s insistence on composing in the midst of devastation, and the camp’s collective struggle to endure. Indeed, rather than surrendering to despair, the composer and... more
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#abo ghabi  #Yarmouk camp  # siege  ...

Funfairs

27/05/2014

The random shelling in Syria led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Syrian families inside Syria, but also to neighboring countries. Often, the families had to flee without the fathers, as they disappeared in prisons or died. As a result, many of the displaced children are now forced to work due to the former sole breadwinner.  In Beirut, the Lebanese capital, tens of children daily roam the city's streets as street vendors, selling flowers or chewing gum almost as if they are begging. These children are trying to help their families to survive in one of the most expensive... more

The color white

29/04/2014

In his very first short film, Nabil Alsayes tells us about the little Syrian girl Rama who lost all her toys under the rubble! Like many others, she then left Syria without knowing what happened to her family, finding refuge in one of the many camps in a neighboring country. Rama hides her most valuable things, her dreams and hopes in one small plastic bag that she took along with her from Syria. She always keeps an eye on it, waiting impatiently to return to Syria. Director: Nabil Alsayes Duration: 10:46 min Year of production: 2014 Produced by:Bidayyat
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#Refugee  # Syria  # Revolution  ...

Testimony of loyalty

22/04/2014

In Syria, thousands of detainees have been taken down to the basements of death, forcibly disappearing, their lives being left at the mercy of the torturer’s breathless beatings.Their lives stop existing in the prison’s dungeons, only their souls being left to transcend the walls and the torturer extinguishes the detainees’ human existence in the torture cells, ending the lives of our beloved ones with a simple paper, the certificate of death. This is the story of the artist Hassan Hassan, as it is the story of thousands of detainees in Syria, whether Palestinians or Syrians.        Director: Hasan Tanji Duration: 06:29 Year of production: 2014 Produced... more
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#Palestine  #Syria  #Torture  ...

"1915"

13/04/2014

One hundred years have not been enough to remove the effect of the massacres and forced displacement on the Armenian people at the hands of the Ottomans since 1915 until today. Back then, Armenians endured a long journey of misery in an attempt to find a safe place to live in this harsh world, fleeing from their homeland Armenia to Syria, where they eventually found refuge, especially in the city of Deir ez-Zor. The people of Deir ez-Zor offered the Armenians fleeing from death safety and a new beginning.  Today, 100 years later, the Armenians of Deir-ez-Zor have to go... more
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#Armenia  # Syria  # Freedom  ...

"Sage"

31/03/2014

The film “sage” deals with the consecutive expulsions and displacements (in Arabic: Al Nakba – The catastrophe) that the Syrian Palestinians have suffered from in their lives, the latest being the expulsion from Syria.  Abu Al Tayeb – a main character of this short film – has experienced with his family the expulsion of 1948 from the Palestinian Territories and the expulsion following the Palestinian uprising in the 1980s. However, he lives his most disturbing displacement when he is forced to leave Syria in 2013, as living in this country is like the oxygen he needs to breathe. Abu Al Tayeb... more
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#Palestine  # Syria  # Nakba  ...

The Palestinian who had nothing but the wind and the Sage by JIDAR-3AZEL

31/03/2014

“Sage” is the title of 7:30 minutes short movie produced by Bidayyat and directed by Hani Mawed that tells the story of “the consecutive expulsions and displacements (in Arabic: Al Nakba — The catastrophe) that the Syrian Palestinians have suffered from in their lives, the latest being the expulsion from Syria” according to the words of the movie’s description here. The short movie takes place in Lebanon, somewhere by the sea, with no direct reference to the time which does not affect the narrative of the context anyway. Lebanon, the new transit-exile which is described by the main character Abu Al... more
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#Nakba  # Palastine  # Syria  ...

"99°"

08/01/2014

Locked in this closed space without hope or future, your screams get louder while the images follow one after the other in your head, your feelings and thoughts revolt, desperately longing for freedom. The soul disconnects itself from the body, thus freeing itself from the pain caused by all fetters and regimes, trying to escape the world of words in search for its humanity. Then, there will be only one thing left… A naked body. This film is an appeal to freedom for all prisoners in Syria, whether they are in the hands of the Syrian regime, the Islamic State in... more
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#prison  # oppression  # regime  ...

Happiness & Bliss

29/11/2013

“If love is an act of doing good, the one who carries love and kindness in his heart brings about happiness and bliss to himself and the people around him“. These are the words the late Syrian president Hafez Al Assad pronounced in his speech on the occasion of the Labor Day in 1993. But we remember just too well the love, happiness and bliss we actually experienced in these days, yearning in our dreams for things as simple as a banana, a nice-smelling rubber or anything else that would free us for a second from our daily misery.   Director: Abo Diab Duration:... more
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#Happiness  # Bliss  # Syria  ...

Nobody's perfect

07/10/2013

Recently, the phenomenon of military brigades and factions that fight in the Syrian revolution and release statements claiming to possess the exclusive right to speak in the name of revolution and as those who own the truth has increased. This short video is a reminder to modesty, keeping in mind that there's not perfection.
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#Islamism  #Bidayyat  # Religion  ...

Passport - a film by Yasser Kassab

06/09/2013

Beirut, the city of war and the gateway to Europe for Syria's youth, is actually harsher than expected. The doors of the embassies are not wide open. As Lebanon is not. It is full of obstacles and boundaries, empty and scary streets, to find a place to live is utmost difficult, and the high cost of living make an attempt to start a new life in this city almost impossible. This film deals with the disappointment and frustration of Rima, the main person of this documentary film that explores the expected dreams and harsh realities of leaving, belonging, going back from... more
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#Lebanon  # Gateway  # Leaving  ...

Marwan - a film by Alaa Chanana

05/09/2013

Marwan worked at the buffet of the Spanish Cultural Center in Damascus “Cervantes” in the hope of realizing his dream of traveling to Spain and escaping from his home country. But after the formal decision of the Spanish government to shut down the Cervantes, Marwan finds himself without work, and without hope for a visa or opportunity to travel. He decides to open a small shop near his home and takes part in some protests at the beginning of the revolution, which eventually led to his detention for several days by the Syrian security forces. On the advice of his... more
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#Syria  # Escape  # dreams  ...

We are coming to slaughter you, by: Syria Untold

05/09/2013

In February of 2013, in the northern side of Syria, over in a little town of Binnish, some extremists published a video showing a child being held on the shoulders of young men as he sings for Al-Qaida, Bin Laden and incited to kill the Alawites and Shiites in Syria. Few months after, the supporters of Assad from the “Fourth Brigade” of the Syrian Army (known for its act of the bloody killing), recorded another video showing a child singing songs insulting the revolution and all its supporters.“Bidayyat” also had something to say for those who film and upload these kinds... more
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#ISIS  # Nosra  # Bidayyat  ...

Creative Memory - Syria

05/09/2013

The revolution established a space for ingenuity that has astounded us, the Syrians, before even making its mark on the rest of the world, and we wonder,  where had all this talent in satire, art, and innovation been? The outburst of the uprising against oppression and tyranny brought on a surge of these remarkable, latent energies, the spontaneous and the organized, in a way never before seen in all of Syria’s years marked by repression and injustice. History relays similar experiences. This project aims to archive all the intellectual and artistic expressions in the age of revolution; it is writing, recording, and... more
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Operations - a film by a young Syrian filmmaker

04/09/2013

The revolution is still ongoing, but in a different way. The daily incidents and reports have created a distance from what is supposed to be of our own making. The revolution of holding flowers, olive branches and banners is over, and on a new morning, the same young people went to join the front fighting of the Free Syrian army, though in different locations and points in time. On another morning, they successively met in a house of the Theshreen neighborhood which they call their headquarter. Here, people are preoccupied with life, but death is constant emergency. Observing the interaction... more
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#Syria  # Death  # Revolution  ...

Playing with death - a film by Hussein Alghajer

04/09/2013

Ahmad is a child. He was born in 1998 in one of the poorest suburbs of Damascus  “Hajr Al Aswad”. With the revolution, Ahmed left Damascus with one of his brothers for the northern city of Idlib, but was critically injured by the regular army during an anti-regime protest. In order to rest, Ahmad was taken to the city of Aleppo - a city where Ahmed eventually will join the Free Syrian army as a child soldier to fight alongside with his new companions on the front lines of this city. With each day of living and fighting with his fellow combatants... more
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#Death  # Syria  # fear  ...

Wound

03/09/2013

She tries to forget about the details she saw, seeking to live just an ordinary day: but the pictures won't let go of her, are burned into her mind and memory. And when she has finally managed to rush her fears, she catches her breath and goes back to her duty to rescue the wounded in a field hospital somewhere in Syria... In this film, I tried to portray the situation and feelings my friend experienced during her work as a nurse in the makeshift hospitals of Syria and the danger that accompanied her in every moment. But I don't know... more
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#Wound  #Hospital  #Nurse  ...

Al Qadisia - A film by a young Syrian filmmaker

31/08/2013

Initially, the director intended to record all the details of the battle with her camera , from the very beginning until the very end of the fighting. But as time goes by and the young filmmaker shares the everyday life and risks side by side with the fighters, she finds herself developing a strong bond to this place and to these fighters.  These fighters whose appearance initially frightened her, only to discover later - after a long period of staying with them not just a photographer, but as part of their group – how much they care for her, protect... more
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#Battle  # Syria  # Filming  ...

Extremely Morbid Satire from Syria

26/06/2013

The videos coming out of Syria of the nightmarish scenes of unspeakable violence and hatred have shaken people from around the world. It makes one doubt humanity and what some people are capable of: excruciatingly agonizing  decapitations and cannibalizing raw organs, on tape. I will not embed these gruesome videos here because I am still reeling from the carnage and gore. What’s worse is that children are present at these very public executions, that pre-teen innocent boys are being taught songs inciting violence, hatred and even butchering of people from other sects. The video above, is a very morbid sarcastic video, and... more
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#slaughter  # Satire  # ISIS  ...

We're coming to slaughter you

24/06/2013

In February 2013, a video published on Youtube showed a child - surrounded by a number of children and young men - singing A-Qaida songs in the streets of Binnish in the northern Syrian province of Idlib. The songs not only glorified Bin Laden, but also incited to kill Alawites and Shiites. The video spread massively among the social media and the city of Binnish quickly became infamous for the songs' core statements of hatred and intolerance. On top of that, the Syrian opposition as well as Syrian regime supporters used it as a means to incite sectarian killings and confessional... more
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#qaida  #syria  #idlib  ...

Dr Qasem

15/06/2013

In the midst of all that happens, far from the mass media's fuss and its focus on spectacular incidents, hundreds of people work in silence, risking their lives to rescue the lives of others, and thus rejecting the ugliness of death by the desire to live. In the city of Al-Qusair in rural Homs, several months before it falls back into the hand of the Syrian regime, Amal Saloum has recorded with her lens a portrait about one of these unknown soldiers.  It is a small portrait of Doctor Qasim AL-Zein, who took the responsibility for the last two years to treat... more
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#Dr Qasem  #syria  #AlQusair  ...

"Being good so far''

11/06/2013

In his first experimental film " Being good so far'' , the Director Orwa Moqdad, tries to record by his lens what is being usually absent and ignored in the media, surpassing the images of destruction and violence, to scenes of humane life of the population in the neighborhood of Al-Sha'ar in Aleppo city, that neighborhood where it's raining shells every day since it was liberated from the Syrian regime forces. The filmmaker said: "all this quantity of blood that bleeding every day did not prevent people to continue their lives, there is a deep desire in life surrounded by death. It's the liberated... more
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#Al-Sha'ar  #Aleppo  #syria  ...

A Dream Of Powerful Monsters

28/05/2013

From within the shelters that are home to Syrian children at the Chatila camp in Beirut, Lebanon; the director Lina Al Abed vividly portrays the haunting dreams of these forcefully migrated children, intersecting their deep stories and nightmares into one dream in the movie - The Dream of Strong Monsters - a short film by Bidayyat Productions. Using daring audiovisual language that combines the beauty of the portrayal of the children, with the sensibility of the image, Lina Al Abed seeks an expressionistic pattern that resembles their dreamworlds. "It's an attempt at facing my own nightmares that invokes my continues insomnia",... more

MiG

08/05/2013

If the "MiG" didn't show up, it could've been just another ordinary day. But it was there, looking for love to shatter, and blow away the features of my exile the "camp", palestine's twin. The bedroom, the beautiful nights and the morning coffee were all exposed to the streets and the main square. At that very moment, Dunia my love and my wife, was dead to me. This movie is about the Palestinian refugee camp "al Yarmouk" on December 16th, when it was attacked by the Syrian regime's "MiGs", as a punishment for sheltering displaced Syrians & Palestinians whom lost their neighborhoods due... more
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#MiG  #Syria  #Damascus  ...

Revolution in Syria and the Birth of the Image-Event - by Jon Rich

25/06/2011

In March 1993, Kevin Carter took a photo of a starving Sudanese child crawling towards a UN relief camp less than a mile away. A few meters from the weary child stood a vulture, waiting for her death to begin his meal. Birds also must eat, and in southern Sudan they were eating because humans were not. Kevin Carter stood across from the vulture, lit a cigarette, and took his shot. Twenty minutes passed and the bird didn’t move, waiting in its place as the child continued to struggle towards the camp. They say that the child survived, but Kevin... more
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#The Image  # Syria  # The revolution  ...