Ah…She can do something

Six years ago, I knew nothing outside the borders of my house and school; these were the only 2 places I knew.  Before the war, I wished to go with my brothers and sisters outside these borders to discover how the world would be like: Our wish came true, but now I wish it didn’t. We went out to many places during the war.  Now all I want is to go back to my house in Ghouta.  

All I remember from the war in Syria is the famine in Ghouta: we used to feed ourselves on bread leftovers. We fasted in order to avoid the feeling of hunger and to keep the food for my two little brothers.  After experiencing what famine is like in Ghouta, we ran away to “Adra El Oumaliyeh” that came under siege shortly after we arrived. We went through it all: the killings, the hunger, 20 days without electricity and water….

When we decided to go to Damascus, my father was shot and was injured in his chest. Since my father was unemployed, my uncle, who was already living in Lebanon, convinced him to come to Lebanon. On the Syrian borders, my father was detained. We have not heard anything about his since then. Some people say he’s dead but we are not sure. When we reached Lebanon in 2014, we all lived in my uncle’s room with his family.

When I joined Action for Hope, I felt that the teachers, can feel what we are going through… I first was part of the video workshop where I took lessons about writing a story and learned about the techniques of making stop-motion films. We filmed 2 short movies in the first workshop, we wrote a story about the hardships of being at school and we made a short film about it and then we made a stop-motion  short video called “the magical comb”.

During the second workshop, I learned the basic techniques of editing and writing scripts. We ended up by writing the scenario, filming and editing the final movie of the workshop, which was a film about friendship and love. Afterwards, I joined 2 other workshops in video, where I learned more about writing scripts and sound operating for movies. In the third and 4th workshops every student was responsible of one specialization: I liked being a D.O.P the most.

Then I joined the Music School and I chose to learn Tabla (drum).  

After joining these two lines of study, my relationship with the others changed: I feel I am more mature now.  Everyone thought that I don’t know anything, but when they see that I can make films, they start saying: “Ah…She can do something”.

I also discovered that there is something in my life that I really want to do which is making films. I showed the 4 movies I took part in making to our neighbors and everyone was happy.  Most importantly, I made my mother Happy. Every mother wants her daughter to be something important. As a family, we thought that this is way beyond our limits.

The most significant positive change that occurred to me is that I learnt a new skill and I felt that I can achieve something and this is very good.  I mostly want to write a scenario about the story of my father. I have already imagined the end of it, an end that didn’t happen in real life. I wish it happens though: We will receive a phone call from him. First, we will not recognize his voice, then we will know that he is in Damascus and we will go to visit him.

Author: Safaa Makdah , 16 years old from  Ghouta

Activity: Video and Music

Story collected and compiled by: Mona Merhi

Date and place: Sunday may 7th , 2017| Ghazzeh  Cultural Center – Action for Hope