I was 18 when I left Syria. My father faced troubles on the Syrian borders and couldn’t return back to Damascus. I was faced by the decision to move to Lebanon because we wanted to stay as a family together. I was living in Qatan in Rif Dimashq Governorate (Rural Damascus) and I was preparing for my high school exams. I wanted to study architecture although I loved cinema and acting but it was not possible for me to make that choice due to the lack of opportunities and to some social constraints since in my social circle it’s not acceptable to be an actor or make movies for a living.
When we arrived to Lebanon, my father opened a restaurant and I started working with him for one year as it was not possible for me to join a Lebanese high school because the curriculum here is totally different than ours.
One day in 2016, I received an SMS with an announcement for a video workshop. It was a 10 days workshop where I gained the basic skills of filming and editing and I co-wrote a script called “Chess” for a short fiction film that had a small part of stop-motion in it. It talks about a young man who is desperately trying to sketch the king of the chess game. Being unable to complete the sketch, he opens the box of memories and remembers his late little brother. He realized how strong his brother was and that encouraged him to gain his strength back. When I joined the filmmaking school at Action for Hope in March 2017, I started taking classes once a week, every Sunday. The class lasts for 3 hours where we learn about the esthetics of filmmaking. After the first workshop, I started to see things differently. I realized that my dream can be very close to me, and that all I have to do is to work on realizing it. I became more determined about my future career and I am sure now that I want to be a filmmaker. I became more responsible of my life choices, of my relations with others, and of managing my time. My dream is here and I have to be responsible towards it.
I also suggested to my sisters to join the video school and they applied. They are both now part of the video school.
Taking the decision of my future career, i.e. making films, is the most positive change that occurred to me. When someone knows where he is going and has a specific target, everything around him becomes better.
As per the negative changes, as a whole, there were no real negative changes. Of course, working in the art scene is not really encouraged in my community. I think that my family is already used to the strange decisions I make.