Cheyef 7alak is a Lebanese-based organization that produces short films about a wide range of cultural and social issues. Their most recent project challenges prevailing discriminatory perceptions of foreign nationalities, including those of migrant workers. Below is an interview Migrant Rights conducted with the Cheyef 7alak team.
MR: Can you tell us a little about your organization?
We are an advertising agency and we are an active part of the society we live in. Behind Cheyef 7alak is a committed team of people who want nothing but to see constructive, positive and consistent change taking place in our country. We are trying to reach all of the Lebanese Citizens.
MR: The message in your video is very clear and powerful. What impact do you expect your video will have on Lebanese society? What kind of responses have you received so far?
The impact can not be measured instantaneously. It is a wake up call to all Lebanese to start acting differently vis-a-vis other nationalities. The responses we received are very positive and encouraging, we hope it spills over to behavior.
MR: Recently, there has much scrutiny of racist laws and attitudes in Lebanon. Why do you think these stereotypes are so prevalent and so difficult to eradicate? Is the saliency of this topic what prompted your team to produce this video at this specific time? Why?
No awareness, no education for the past 3 to 4 decades. We are lucky somehow that the situation isn't worse. A society without education and accountability is a doomed society.
MR: Do you think your video will reach to other Middle Eastern countries that might suffer from similar social discord?
We hope so. But online reach is unstoppable and uncontrollable. We are already receiving lots of comments from beyond local boundaries.
MR: When can we expect part 2 to come out?
In a couple of months time.