MEET MENA YOUTH; STEPHANIE MOUKARZEL


IN COLLABORATION WITH MEGANE QUASHIE FROM FEMXLE FIRST SESSIONS AND CREATIVE CONSULTANT SOPHIE EMMETT






With the ever-changing landscape of Middle East and North Africa, F Word, in collaboration with Megane Quashie from Femxle First Sessions and creative consultant Sophie Emmett, wanted to shine a light on how the current times are affecting the youth – voices in countries that are rarely represented in the media. Through outsourcing a variety of creatives from these regions, we have asked for a digital time capsule that we hope will contribute to awareness, education and building bridges.



Stephaine Moukarzel is a young filmmaker who is based in Beirut. In the aftermath of the devastating explosion back in August of this year, Stephaine shares raw emotion of what it feels like to be in a city that has faced such a loss and what the youth are experiencing and doing through her powerful and moving film. Along with opening up to us with her intimate thoughts of how she hopes the chaos of this year will challenge herself and others in her city to share stories through different and unique crafts of their own.



STEPHANIE MOUKARZE / 24 / BEIRUT



What are the biggest challenges you’re facing with current world issues?

S.M: I think this year made me realise so many things, through the chaos outside. On a smaller world issue scale the Lebanese Revolution, the mentally and physically destructive explosion that wiped out the city and took away our souls awakened something in me about the world. All the different things that we were raised to believe in, that are no longer valid. The biggest challenges that I’ve been facing with everything happening around me is understanding what I want to create as a filmmaker. Many of us lost a lot this year, because of everything that’s been happening but I think our biggest challenge as artists is how we will be able to use this chaos to tell stories through our own crafts.



How would you describe the mood of your city?

S.M: Now? Melancholy.



How does your city inspire you to be creative?

S.M: Beirut’s authenticity, its warmhearted people, the culture and the intense contrast of love and pain incredibly inspire me to create. There’s something about the energy you feel when you’re walking around the city and coming across different types of people doing different things or when you’re driving up the mountain as the sun is rising after a long night of dancing or when you’re camping with your friends in a secluded forest listening to beautiful euphoric music and just having a glass of arak.



What is one mis-conception about your city?

S.M: I think the news outlets really play a big role in creating mis-conceptions about Lebanon as a whole. With everything happening right now, I’m not sure I can point out one mis-conception but maybe it would be worth mentioning that the revolution sparked a good social change that many have become really aware of.



If you had to create a digital time capsule to describe yourself, your city in 2020. - (colour, material, quote, song, memory)

S.M: My Film





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