Wednesday February 21, 2018

Meet Khaldiya Jibawi: Her Journey from the Refugee Camp to her Movie Screening

Jibawi is one of the 80,000 refugees who went through the repercussions of the Syrian war

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Poster of "Another Kind of Girl". Image source: anotherkindofgirl.com
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  • The movie is a record of the mundane lives of people at the camps after the attacks in Syria
  • She wishes to continue her movie-making even after she gets married, which is an unusual dream for girls in camps
  • The girl is concerned for the youth of Syria as she looks at them as potential power-structures

“Another kind of girl”, a 9 minute movie by a refugee from the camps of Jordan, Khaldiya Jibawi, is an exemplifying marker from the people of no man’s land. This 19 year old girl is achieving heights with her documentary being put on view Sundance, SXSW, Cannes film festival and now the Los Angeles Film Festival.

The movie is a record of the mundane lives of people at the camps after the attacks in Syria. Her family left the native land to move to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.

The girl shies away as she celebrated her 19th birthday in the camp. Fortunately, she is not one of those girls who are married at early ages. On being asked about her not being in the normal scenario of a “girl-life”, she was hesitant to admit that her not being a wife is just a matter of luck and she cannot think of being at the same place for a long period.

Jibawi is one of the 80,000 refugees who went through the repercussions of the Syrian war. However, she feels content being nearby her essential land. The documentary was successful to be made by a media workshop conducted by the nonprofit “WomenOne”, mutually with “Save the children international”. The workshop was an effort by the organizers to bring to the fore the stories of teenage girls from the camps, describing their life.

khaldiya jawibi
Film poster. Image source: “another kind of girl”

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It comes across as a conscious attempt at their part as putting forth the authentic perspective only has given the documentary such weight to reach the renowned film festivals.

In an interview discussing her personal and professional life, she is seen as still in the same mode of living the not so grand but happy life, absorbed in her daily tasks of watching T.V. and doing household chores. What makes her life so interesting is the fact that the essence of Syria is still not lost and one sees a realistic depiction of her world. She remarks how sometimes while revisiting her shooting, she was surprised to know of the things happening around her.

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She wishes to continue her movie-making even after she gets married, which is not a usual dream of girls inhabiting the camps. She left her studies after the Ninth standard under the burden of household responsibilities, with her mother starting working. She seems to be too unpredictable of her future but does long to return to Syria. The girl is concerned for the youth of Syria as she looks at them as potential power-structures who can turn the tables for the country and re-build it.

On being asked about her movie, she asks her audience to look at it as the life of a society way too different from theirs and further says,

“People have a certain perspective about the camps, and I want them not to underestimate people. People shouldn’t underestimate us because who knows what we can be capable of accomplishing.” (Translated from Arabic)

by Megha Sharma, a freelance contributor at NewsGram. Twitter: meghash06510344

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It’s not what you wear, but the way you wear it

Men lack the enzyme which processes self-awareness, which is why we think we look good in Speedos

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A lot depends upon what we wear and how we carry it. Wikimedia Common
A lot depends upon what we wear and how we carry it. Wikimedia Common

Definition of being behind on the laundry: When you find yourself seriously considering wearing a Halloween costume to work.

I expected my wife to veto the idea, but she was okay with it, saying: “It’s not what you wear that counts, but whether you can carry it off.”

Mind you, this was a phone conversation and so she couldn’t see what I was wearing. In the event, going to work in a killer clown outfit was not as bad as it might have been, and the fake bloodstains on the costume proved advantageous. Fellow passengers quickly gave me a seat on the bus — actually, a whole block of seats.

Also Read: Get quirky with your shoes

The main (and possibly only) advantage of marriage for guys is that we are given full-time aides (“wives”) who generally prevent us going out looking too ridiculous. Men lack the enzyme which processes self-awareness, which is why we think we look good in Speedos.

Proof: In my true-crime file is a report about a criminal fugitive on the run in Japan who disguised himself in a girls’ sailor suit school uniform. Since he was a tall man with massive shoulders, he managed to evade detection for only minutes.

Definition of being behind on the laundry: When you find yourself seriously considering wearing a Halloween costume to work. Wikimedia Commons
Definition of being behind on the laundry: When you find yourself seriously considering wearing a Halloween costume to work. Wikimedia Commons

Another true story: Last year, a pair of bank robbers decided to dress as women to scope out a bank in Thomasville, Florida. The result was the opposite of what they expected: They became the centre of attention, of course.

It is really hard for men to dress convincingly as females as we lack the two main things that make a woman a woman — good taste, and the ability to walk with our feet clamped in instruments of torture known as “lady’s shoes”.

There’s one exception which proves my point. In November last year, the coach of the Thailand women’s kabaddi team was dismayed to find out that males were banned from attending women’s sports events in Iran, where his team was playing. So he wrapped his head in a female scarf and marched straight in.

Also Read: Why Do People Get Aggressive After Drinking?

He fooled nobody but correctly judged that the women would be too nice to throw him out. Smart guy.

Our UK correspondent shared a sad news item about a group of men who raised money for their local hospital by dressing as nurses and pushing a bed around town. The hospital refused to accept the cash as they said it was considered politically incorrect for men to dress as nurses these days.

It is really hard for men to dress convincingly as females as we lack the two main things that make a woman a woman. Wikimedia Commons
It is really hard for men to dress convincingly as females as we lack the two main things that make a woman a woman. Wikimedia Commons

This seems unfair, as I have seen marathon runners dressed as bananas, dinosaurs and Q-Tips without complaint from fruit sellers, palaeontologists or people who like to poke things in their ears.

But the political issues surrounding women’s clothes are complex. In 2011 someone organised a “slutwalk” in Canada. This involved scantily-clad females marching down the road with protest banners. When the Slutwalk arrived in Asia, the women were fully covered up and many of the marchers were male; so the event missed the point, a bit like the Animal Rights Barbecue that a friend of mine once tried to organise.

Also Read: 7 Unfailing Ways To Impress Your Lady Love & Swoon Her Off Her Feet

Anyway, like my wife says, it’s not what you wear but how you wear it. By the way, I look great in a Speedo. (IANS)

(Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send ideas and comments via his Facebook page)