Life Goes On

Muzna Al-Zouhouri was born in Syria, in August 1993,then moved to Lebanon not knowing what to expect and where will she end up. One day Muzna was visiting some relatives at the “Alrahma Camp” in West Bakaa while Action for Hope’s team were doing an outreach visit to the camp, Mr. Abdullah Birakdar and Mrs. Basma El Husseiny entered the tent and got into conversation with Muzna to find out that she fits perfectly to the programs they are initiating. Muzna was very interested and ended up participating in four projects provided by Action for Hope filmmaking, the theater troupe, creative writing, and journalism.

She used to study electronic and electrical engineering back in Syria but she always had a passion for filmmaking and journalism. When she came to Lebanon, many violent images were imprinted in her memory due to the war experience. She needed a way to express herself and to let them out.  Muzna made her first film, a one-minute movie called « Once again », after learning the craft of filmmaking through workshops with Action for Hope.

Before Muzna left Syria, her father was kidnapped and murdered. Shortly beforehand, he called home and spoke to the whole family for longer than usual, as if he had had a premonition. In the conversation, he told Muzna « keep in mind that life goes on ». This phrase became her backbone, her support, and gave her the strength to continue after the loss of her father.  She named her second movie « life goes on ».

Muzna also took a journalism workshop, and realized she could merge journalism and filmmaking in order to document what is happening in Syria now. She began sending scripts to a team of collaborators in Syria. They shoot the rushes she requests and upload them online. Muzna is then able to view the content, send feedback and eventually edit the images. This process has already yielded a 20-minute film. Today, Muzna considers herself a documentary film-maker; so far she has made 5 films, 3 of which with the support of Action for Hope. Even though she now lives far away, Muzna feels she is serving her country and maintaining a bond with her homeland through her artistic endeavors. Moreover, Muzna had started working with Save the Children in Bekaa, Lebanon as an outreach officer.

The most negative change was that Muzna discovered through the theater workshop what she considers to be the limits of her imagination. She has the mind of a realist and found it difficult to improvise onstage. She feels she always needs to speak the truth, as painful as it may be. She tries not to show this pain outwardly, but knows that others will feel it.

Author: Muzna AlZohori, 24 years old from Qusair

Activity: theatre / Video

Story collected and compiled by: Suha Nader

Date and place: May 30, 2016| Bekaa