Following three days of training in Shatila camp in Beirut, and a day of fieldwork, participants in the ‘The Art of Sharing Life Stories with the Masses’, produced twelve projects, each of which conveyed a unique story either through a series of six photos or a short video.
The Majed Abu Sharar Media Foundation, (MASMF) organized the four-day workshop, in partnership with the Center for Refugee Rights ‘Aidoun’, (CPR), and the support of the Norwegian People’s Aid, (NPA). Mexican American filmmaker and photographer Alejandro Gomez-Meade introduced trainees to the art of documentary storytelling before presenting the elements necessary to create a documentary story through a series of photos or short video, stressing the importance of building trust between the trainees and their central characters.
Consequently, the stories produced by the twelve trainees tackled a number of issues; either directly related to the hardship of life in Palestinian camps in Lebanon, or the continuous attachment Palestinian refugees demonstrate towards their rich culture and traditions, or simple human pleasures that are usually taken for granted, and others topics like pollution and its consequences on the environment.
Sometimes we take the simple pleasures of life for granted and at one given moment in our busy life something triggers us to stop to take a breath and enjoy these pleasures, be it fetching a cup of coffee under the spring rain in the camp of Shatila, in Beirut, Lebanon or be it enjoying the music of rain in Bourj el Shemali camp in Tyre, in the south of the country or be it the simple joy of making traditional saj bread in one of the busy streets of Tyre. The three stories featured here which speak for themselves embody these simple pleasures of life which we often ignore.
Title: The Music of Rain
Location: Bourj el Chemali camp Tyre, Lebanon
Description: Despite the winter gloom, when we shut our eyes we can listen to the music of winter and enjoy it. It will bring you hope, and will put a smile on trees and children stuck behind windows.
Filmmaker: Leila Arab, Bourj el Chemali camp, Tyre Lebanon
Title: Crown Saj
Location: Tyre, Lebanon
Description: Making a special cultural bread from the Levant on top of a carved metal pan.
Photographer: Hussein Al Haj Moussa, Tyre, Lebanon
Title: Morning Coffee
Location: Shatila camp Beirut, Lebanon
Description: Do not wear your white shoes in May, it’s amazing rain might surprise you, while the taste of the black coffee deserves the adventure during all months.
Photographer: Bassam Jamil, Al-Jalil camp Baalbek, Lebanon, previously Yarmouk camp, Damascus, Syria
— It is worth mentioning that MASMF works on empowering the youth in Palestinian camps and gatherings in the media field through journalism training to give them the voice to convey their stories to the world professionally away from the stereotypes of the mainstream media. For more information regarding MASMF and the work it does you can visit or website or Facebook page.