Recently my friend and I worked on a project to help send hope and money back to Japan. Here are the pictures I took:
To learn more about our project, or to donate to Japan check out the website! BloomforJapan.com
“Every individual has a country they live in. Except us, we have a country that lives within us.” This quote always manages to give me goose bumps and triggers something in me that I cannot really describe. I’m supposed to be writing about Palestine, but every time I start talking about my beloved country I either get really upset or angry. Actually, I think it’s because I don’t want to start crying, I let it out through anger.
Growing up I always knew there were so many problems and that Palestine is a country that had many issues. I remember when I was 10 my family and I visited this place in Lebanon called “Baab Fatima,” a door through which we could see some of Palestine. However, what stood between me and my country were borders, and from what I remember there was an old building with some soldiers, some Israeli soldiers “protecting” that border. I’ll always remember this image so clearly, the image of my grandma bending down with all the strength she had to pick up a small stone to throw at those Israelis. Even though I believe throwing rocks will not make a difference, nor has it ever, but at that moment I realized why Palestinians throw them.
When I was younger it never really bothered me how I didn’t have a country I could call home. Maybe because I never understood what it meant to have a Belize passport or even understood what a passport was, or what a home was. But now, every time someone says Palestine or when I even think about it, I get so frustrated and upset. Studying to be a journalist could be part of the reason I get so upset. Being a journalist has opened my eyes to many issues and made me more aware of what’s really happening around the world. I want to use journalism to help people, to raise awareness and to make a difference. But I don’t believe I will be able to use my journalism skills to help my country.
Some of the journalism students at NU-Q say they want to go back to Palestine and report on the issues happening there. I think I would be biased towards my country, I know I will not report fairly because I would never take sides or want to show the other side of the story. I wouldn’t want to help one person sympathize with the other side, because what we’re going through—what Palestinians are going through—relative to what the other side are going through, is nothing close to what outsiders could ever experience.
Even though I think it’s not fair that we Palestinians don’t have a country, I also happen to truly believe that everything happens for a reason and that this whole life is just a test for something beyond anyone’s expectations. So instead of going out nagging about what is missing in my life, I just thank God for what I have right now, my family and my health. No one knows what I could end up doing in my future, even if it’s reporting in Palestine, a country many might not admit exists anymore.
If it’s not on the map, on Google or in history books, Palestine will always be in our hearts and will one day be home to Palestinians again.
لـكل الـناس وطـن يـعـيــشون فـيه الا نـحن لـنا وطـن يـعـيــش فـيـنـا
National Geographic recently showed interest in our documentary, Broken Records. In the past couple of weeks the girls and I were working on an article to compliment the documentary and talk more about Arab hip-hop and how it’s playing a big part in the revolution and the Arab world.
The documentary and the article are up on NAT GEO! Please check them out and spread the word. We would love to get your feedback about what you all think about this new culture.
I have to admit, I haven’t been taking too many pictures, which is upsetting me only because of the joy it brings when I take a good picture. Nonetheless, here are the latest ones I took around DC and New York. Please leave your feedback!
Living in the US has been great, the other girls who live with me and I have been exploring a lot and have also been very busy with work! Other than trying to adjust to work life in the office, we’re planning on traveling to a lot of places. That definitely means more pictures! I’m very excited to see what comes next in my life.
When we first arrived to DC, we heard that the hip-hop artists from our documentary, The Narcicyst and Omar Offendum, were going to perform in Brooklyn on the 23rd of February. Last Wednesday, one of the other Broken Records directors and I decided we’d leave for the night to go shoot at the event, where nine different Arab performers came together for a cause. Existence is Resistance & LEAP worked together and organized this event as a fundraiser for education and a celebration of the Egyptian revolution.
These are some pictures I took from the night
To hear some of their music, check the following videoclips:
Lowkey – Terrorist?
The Narcicyst- P.H.A.T.W.A.
Omar Offendum – Destiny
Where do I start? January was busy. Very busy! Apart from taking two courses in a month’s time, our documentary and our big event were coming together. It was hectic, but also one of the best months ever. So about the documentary, after I made my profile piece on the Palestinian rapper, Fouad Abdulhadi, “Majzarah,” Shannon Farhoud & I started talking about making a documentary on the rising hip-hop culture in the Middle East. We realized the importance of covering this topic. With the rise of this new trend comes a rise of a new culture. Luckily for us, in the process of planning, Omar Offendum and The Narcicyst came to Qatar and we were able to feature them in our piece. Omar Chakaki, who goes by the name “Omar Offendum,” is of Syrian origin and is a globally recognized Arab artist. He is an MC and producer who has been featured on several major news outlets, including BBC, ABC news and Aljazeera. Yassin AlSalman, whose stage name is “The Narcisyst,” is an Iraqi rapper and producer based in Montreal, Canada. He has performed all over the world and has been the opening act for several artists like, Public Enemy, Busta Rhymes, Kanye West, A-Trak, Dead Prez and several others.
Ashlene Ramadan, Shannon Farhoud and I finally started working on our documentary in January. We ended up planning a huge event to premier the documentary and to bring back the artists from our piece to perform at the event.
Let’s fast forward till the night of the event, February 8th, we had the event at Education City in Qatar. People started lining up outside the theater about an hour before the event started. The theater that could seat 217 people was packed with more than 250 people from all ages and from diverse backgrounds. After showing our documentary, the artists performed on stage for at least 10 minutes each.
Images taken by Saif Alnuweiri
Initially, I was meant to post this a month ago, but I’ve been so busy. I’m now doing my journalism residency at Al Jazeera, DC.
Since the night of the premier, the documentary has been featured everywhere. We got reviews from all around the world. But, it’s all not over yet. We plan on taking this further with the support of many.
Anyway, to all those hip-hop lovers and to all my viewers, I would love to know what you think of the documentary!
Love from DC,
I’ve been super busy over the past couple of months…I’ve been traveling around a lot. I recently traveled to Turkey and reported on Sufism, that video will be up soon! But what has been really taking up my time is a documentary my two classmates and I are making. After making my first profile video on Fouad, the Palestinian rapper, we thought it would be great to explore the hiphop field in the Middle East. So, for the past couple of months we spoke to rappers, breakdancers, beatboxers and different artists. Now, we’re putting together our very first documentary that will be premiered on the 8th of FEBRUARY. I want all my viewers and all hiphop lovers to check out the trailer and hopefully make it to the premier, which will be shown at the student center in Qatar Foundation at 6.30 P.M. Feb 8th. For more details on the event: click here! Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
The team is excited to show the video next week and can’t wait to see people’s reactions.
We would like to send a big shout-out to all the people who have been watching the trailer all around the world and who have shown great interest in the Documentary.
Special shout-outs go to Re-volt Radio and The Narcicyst for re-blogging our trailer! http://revoltradio.blogspot.com/
In an attempt to get the word out about Qatar, one of the Qatari companies held an event where they broke the world record for the world’s largest t-shirt. This was held end of November this year in support of the Qatar bid, before the FIFA decision was made. I want to congratulate Qatar and all the people who live in Qatar, whether you are Qatari or not, we all felt the joy and celebrated the day Qatar got the FIFA approval!
I haven’t had the time to upload this video, which I made the day the record was broken:
Also, The Ritz Carlton in Doha set a Guinness World Record for creating the largest cake sculpture as part of the National Day celebrations on the 16th of December.
2022, we are all looking forward to you and to all the happiness you will uncover for us!