Seelye: Why did you choose to tell the story of two teenage boys coming of age in wartime Beirut?
Doueiri: I remember the war as a teenager. Furthermore, I knew from the beginning that making my protagonists teenagers would give me more freedom of expression. A teenager can get away with things during a time of war that adults cannot. As teenagers, Tarek and Omar had the freedom to behave without inhibitions and explore their sexuality.
Seelye: How autobiographical is this film?
Critically acclaimed Syrian watercolorist, Etab Hreib, a native of Der-Ez-Zor, graduated from the Graphic Arts Department of the University of Damascus. Since then, she has exhibited her work in various parts of the world. She was the recipient of the Al-Mahros Golden Award in Tunisia, a Golden Award from the Chinese Ministry of Culture, and an award from the Ministry of Culture in Algeria.
Dina Abd Elsalam is an Egyptian lecturer in Alexandria University. Her film debut, “This Is Not a Pipe” (2010), was screened in a number of international festivals and received the Arab Women Filmmakers Award from Baghdad International Film Festival in 2011. It was followed by her novel, “A Text Abandoned by its Characters” (Nass Hagaraho Abtallaho), published in December, 2012.
San-Antonio based poet Lahab Assef al-Jundi is the son of acclaimed Syrian poet Ali al-Jundi. The younger Al-Jundi writes poetry, mainly in English, that transcends ethnic themes to address issues of universal significance. Both political and personal, his richly evocative poems reveal a refined consciousness, a keen perceptiveness, and a serious engagement with humane concerns.
Noted Former Syrian Prisoner Riyadh al-Turk
Speaks Out on Life Inside Prison
‘I stop thinking in prison’
Syrian Poet Faraj Bairqadar Speaks after 14 Years of Detention
‘The freedom within us is larger than the jails we are in’