So I don’t know if I’ve mentioned yet, but I’m part of the Syria Society at SOAS, and this coming week we are having our Syria Awareness Week! We have lots of events about many different aspects, and I’m presenting an event too!
Another week, another film screening. Don’t worry, I go to my classes too!
This time the SOAS Syria Society screened A Syrian Love Story, which follows a couple who met and fell in love in prison and then married and started a family upon their release. But as they continue to pursue their political activism against the Assad regime, one becomes a political prisoner, leaving her husband to care for their young children. And once she’s released, intense pressure on all political activists force the family to flee. But political exile takes it toll on their mental health, and although they have found safety in France, their relationship begins to crumble.
This documentary was hard to watch – if this was a fictional movie, you’d feel secure knowing that at the end of the film, love triumphs over all, and any relationship struggles are just simply resolved. But that isn’t real life – and this documentary shows just how much difficult situations change people, and take their toll.
That being said, it is an important film to watch – the more we know about the lives of every day Syrians, the more we can put faces and stories to the statistics that we read. We need to bring this back down to the realities of people, because we can connect with people more than we can connect with numbers.
I went to another film screening last night to watch After Spring– this is the film that Jon Stewart produced, and it follows a couple of Syrian refugee families in Zaatari refugee campin Jordan. A major figure in the documentary is also Kilian Kleinschmidt, who is the director of Zaatari – a very inspiring man, trying to keep the camp running as effectively as possible.
I’ve been really fascinated by how Zaatari was set up and how it grew so quickly, so this documentary was very interesting in showing how people are trying to make as much of a life as they can in the circumstances they’re in.
I’m thinking of writing my MA dissertation on refugee camps, like Zaatari, and how they struggle with trying to be a temporary shelter, so that they can be packed up and closed when the crisis is over, and how they actually have to become more entrenched and provide more services, since the crisis is becoming more and more protracted. What do you think?
I had a lovely winter break – went to Yorkshire for Christmas, and then I spent New Year’s in Edinburgh for Hogmany, which was such a great time! (Also went up through the Highlands to Loch Ness and went to a whisky distillery too…Scotland is an amazing place to visit!)
But we’re back at uni, and here’s our first vocab list of the second term….it’s quite a long one too, the pressure is definitely on.
ARABIC PLURAL MASCULINE
ARABIC PLURAL FEMININE
orange (the fruit)
hot (‘spicy’ and ‘very warm’)
ARABIC VERB: PAST TENSE
ARABIC VERB: PRESENT TENSE
to return / go back
to ask (as in ‘to request’)
to know / to find out
to sit (down)
to live (as in ‘to inhabit’)
Phew! That was a long one…..I’m expecting another big one next week too. Actually, I imagine they will be quite long for the rest of the term.