Mazen, Aida Camp, Bethlehem, Translation by Oussama 09/04/2009

Monday 28 December 2009
popularity : 20%

Read the whole report on our meeting with Mazen, on Thursday April 9

Interview of Mazen, 19. On the second floor (still being built) of Al-Rowwad. Translation by Oussama (31)

Interview Mazen
IMG/mp3/Aida_-_interview_Mazen.mp3

Hello Belgium! My name is Mazen, I’m 19 years old. I’m at High School now and a member of Al-Rowwad Centre. I work on 2 levels : “Images for Life” (a photo workshop) as well as in the Art Unit : I’m in a rap group and I also do drama theatre. At the moment we are preparing the exhibition ‘Images for life”, that we’ll open to the public tomorrow.

What is special about Al-Rowwad? Why do you like going there, what do you find there that helps you with your life?

The very special thing in Al-Rowwad is the theatre and drama part. There is no other centre in Bethleem where there are drama activities. At the beginning, I just liked playing, being on stage, but then they helped me improve myself and gave me the opportunity to do other things I like. That’s how I asked them if I could create a rap group, and they agreed ! They are really there to help me, to push me to do what I want to. That’s probably why I like them. And also, at the same time, they are as a family. I feel at home with them.

I’m just a member of this group, one of them. I don’t see myself as the leader or anything like that. Generally, it’s Jamal who writes the lyrics, because he is the most clever of the group, he knows how to find the words to express our feelings and our situation. As for the music, we find it on the internet, especially the beats and we try to work as a team. I generally care for the technique, the mikes and that stuff… Well, it is not difficult to understand where we get our ideas from : we write about what happens here, for ex, about what happened in the Gaza Strip. Our aim is to show the people outside who we really are, let them know what really happens here : we are not terrorists, which is the image most of you have. We are human beings who can sing, dance, laugh and not only cry, be injured or be dead!… Of course, I’m very happy to sing and be able to speak about the situation here, the problem of the seniors, of the refugees… that way, I’m trying to make some things of our daily life here change.

At first we wrote a lot about the political situation and the problems it creates, and we still do, but today we also write songs about the other part of our life. Songs telling the people we love that we love them : our friends, our mother…

What is your dream? Not in general, but for yourself, something for your own life ?

I want to become a famous rap singer.

Can you please say it first in Arabic and then again in English?

Mazen : My dream…

Oussama : is…

Mazen : is… Oh…! …My dream is…

Oussama : to become...

Mazen : …

Oussama : Cut, please, cut… You see, this is one of our problems… For many children and many adults, it is really difficult to express themselves, talk about themselves. We try to solve that in the workshops, through the work we do here in the Center… It comes from the heart, you know ? And Mazen isn’t strong enough to talk to you like that, normally, to find the words to. That’s what you are touching...

Yes, we are well aware of it, but that it is exactly what we want to bring back to Belgium : the image of real men and women, with their strengths and weaknesses, pictures and voices showing that people in Palestine are just human beings like us. That is what we want to show. It doesn’t matter if Mazen can’t find his words. What is important, just and fair is to share all this. What you have just told us makes our eyes mist with tears, really because we realize all too well how difficult it is for him... He needn’t feel ashamed or shy. Please, Oussama tell him... Mazen we love you so much, you know it, don’t you?…

Mazen : I love you too… And I really appreciate what you are doing for me.

You give us so much, both of you... All of you....

Listen to other songs by the Freedom Sons