Tag Archives: OneMinutesJr.

In Libya, sheep heads are a side dish

“So, I read about a specialty – bazin. Can I get that anywhere?”

I was in Tripoli, Libya, where we were running a video workshop with kids from around the country. The logistics for each workshop were different, and for this one, the organizer enlisted a rotating crew of work colleagues to serve as translators. I liked this set up, because it meant that we got to know a group of local young men and women during our time there.

That day, during a break, I was talking to Nabeel, who was built like a bodyguard but whose face welcomed you with a smile.


First stage of bazin, with lamb.

“You know bazin?” he asked, surprised.

I explained that I was pretty obsessed with food, and for each trip, even before learning about the politics of a place, I would research the food. Food, of course, is such a part of a places’s culture. And this way I would know what to expect during the trip and what specialties I might want to try to find.

“Well, that’s one of those home-cooked dishes,” Nabeel continued, explaining that it was something that was cooked by hand, and consumed communally. “Most restaurants won’t serve it because you eat with your hands and you only want to do that with people you trust.”

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We Walk Their Path

This weekend, the OneMinutesJr. awards were announced and “We Walk Their Path,” by Amar, won the One Minute of Freedom award. The film was produced during a workshop I facilitated in Zaatari, the Syrian refugee camp in the north of Jordan.

There are so many stories from that trip – tales of kids uprooted from their homes, remembrances of lost items and childhood adventures, consistent declarations of an eventual return to Syria. All the kids in the workshop lived at Zaatari, some having been there a year and a half already. The majority came from Daraa, a city in southwestern Syria, just north of the border with Jordan. At the time of the workshop, in January 2014, the Zaatari camp hosted about 85,000 refugees from the conflict in Syria.


I had facilitated workshops in over 20 countries at this point, so I was no stranger to challenging work environments. In addition to the physical containment (our movement was extremely limited) and the emotional impact (of witnessing life in the camp), there was the hurdle of general inexperience. Most of the seventeen participants of the workshop had never held a video camera before and their image-taking experience was mostly limited to mobile phones. The ideas behind creating imagery were fairly distant for them. But while they didn’t outright grasp the concepts of filmmaking, their imaginations never lacked.

As you can imagine, there are many stories to be told. But, for now, a focus on Amar (first name only, for security’s sake) and his tale of war.
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