Ah…She can do something

I come from Syria, from the Damascus countryside, but I now live with my mum and siblings in a refugee settlement in Bekaa, Lebanon. Our home consists of one room as my father, the main breadwinner, is still missing in Syria and my family cannot afford another place for the time being.

My artistic journey started at the age of 13, seven years ago, when I took part in an Action for Hope’s cultural relief convoy and joined the training in filmmaking that also included training in story-writing and stop-motion. After that, I made my first film: “The Magic Comb”. In 2016, I joined the Action for Hope Music School and specialized in percussion. We underwent 18 months of training and graduated with a concert attended by a large number of people. After graduation, we performed concerts in many Lebanese regions. While I was at the Music School, I was happy to acquire musical techniques that allowed me to increase my artistic sensitivity, but cinema remained my greatest passion.

Therefore, afterwards, I joined the Action for Hope Film School. When I was studying filmmaking and cinema, I began to feel that I was actually growing up into an adult and that the people’s perception of me was changing little by little. I was showing my films to neighbors and relatives and getting praised by them, though the most important thing for me was my mother’s joy and pride in me.

To date, I have made more than four films, the most recent of which is the documentary “Our Room” that tells the reality of my family’s daily life in the small room where we all live together and which witnesses our screams, joy and ambitions.

Today, I want to go to the university and complete my studies in filmmaking, so that cinema remains a tool for me to express myself and my experience. When I joined Action for Hope’s programs, I felt like the teachers could really understand how I and the other students felt, and what we were capable of. Now, I just want to keep achieving my ambitious goals and develop my love for cinema into a profession, so that I can also live off the financial returns it provides me with.

Safa Makdah, 20 years
From: Damascus Countryside – Syria
Current residence: Bekaa – Lebanon