Discussion Panel: ‘The Others’: Racism & Refugees in Lebanon

Part of this festival is a one day seminar entitled “The Others”; racism is inflating as the refugee crises is at its peak in Lebanon; witnessing acts of violent racism towards them – such as physical (burning of certain refugee camps, enforcing a time embargo on refugees in certain municipalities, battery..etc.), as well as verbal abuse and rejection in their integration process.

The seminar specifically tackles the general viewpoint of the other/the refugees – through denouncing all forms of violence and violation of their human rights and attempting at bringing closer the fragmented society that is currently rejecting them as “the others”. The seminar will host three renowned regional speakers:

1. HASSAN ABBAS - Founder & president of The Syrian League of Citizenship­, Syria

  • Born 1995 Syria, Doctrait Degree in literature and literary critique from the Sorbonne University. Since he has worked as a professor/researcher and cultural manager at the French Institute for the Near East in Damascus. Prallel to that he also taught at The Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts Damascus; his works include “The Guide to Cintizenship” with the artist Ahmad Ma’alla, “The Cultural Map for Wadi Al­ Nasarah”, “Syria, A View from the Sky”, “Voyage with the Haiku”, “Do not Close Your Eyes”. From his translation works “The Vision Machine” and “The New Thinkers of Islam”. Member and co­founder of various associations in the field of citizentship, socio­cultural development and human rights in the region.

2. NIZAR SAGHIYEH - Lebanese lawyer and activist specialized in Human Rights, ­Lebanon

  • Lawyer Nizar Saghieh is co­founder and executive director of The Legal Agenda since 2011 as well as the editor of its publication of record. He has researched and written extensively on a wide­range of legal topics including war memories, freedom of expression, and vulnerable groups. He has also pursued strategic litigation in relation to complex social issues such as arbitrary detention of refugees and the disappeared in Lebanon’s civil war.

3. Rasha Jarhum ‐ Senior Development Policy Advisor and Social Researcher, Yemen.

  • Rasha Jarhum is a Senior Development Policy Advisor and Social Researcher. Jarhum has been working in the humanitarian and development fields, and advocating for Human Rights years. Rasha’s research focus is on social policy including gender, governance, and social protection. Jarhum has worked with various international organizations such as Oxfam, UNDP, UNICEF, and JICA, in addition to workingwith local NGOs in Yemen such as the Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights. Rasha is currently pursuing her PhD in Sociology and Social Policy at BangorUniversity, Wales, UK.

Outreach Program

Factory 961 sensed the need to hold screenings and related cultural activities to raise awareness in refugee camps in Lebanon, by conducting film screenings and exposes the public to other forms of images and expression emerging from inside areas affected by war. One of the main activities in this program will present a carefully designed outreach program will target both local community and refugees in their camps/place of residence, and will include an applied theater/and drama therapy workshop to reveal the hidden narratives of the refugees and communicate them to the local community. The workshops’ sites will form a platform for the narratives discourse of the refugees to be shared/contested/and embodied.

This workshop will take place in September 2016 after the Karama Beirut Film Festival activities, as to employ the local attention and press that the festival has harboured.

The Program will take place in: (One Session of almost 5 hours in each Area)

  • Southern Lebanon: Nabatieh in collaboration with the Youth Network for Civic Activisim (YNCA).
  • Bekaa: El Marj in collaboration with the Syrian Eyes NGO.
  • Northern Lebanon: Wadi Khaled in collaboration with Al Tafawoq wal Sa3ada NGO.

University Outreach Program

A screening event followed by a Q&A session, then a guided debate regarding the topic of refugees and minorities. The debate is run by a professional in the field that gears the overall conversation towards a positive safe discussion platform; on each side of the debate will be students representing the refugees and minorities in the university and the local Lebanese students, both discussing and questioning the current crises and situation.

Keeping in mind that our team members Haytham Chamass and Najwa Kondakji are both university professors in several local universities, allowing us direct access to the university utilities. This will take place in September and October 2016 – as it is the beginning of the fall semester.

The University Outreach Program will take place in three universities across Lebanon.