When asked what the award meant to him and to the crew behind the documentary, Beyhum said:
“The award and festival participation gave the team of students a very rare opportunity to be recognized by their peers as filmmakers. The award allowed for MARAM to be listed on IMDb and for the names of all those who worked on this documentary to be duly credited and recognized. It also meant that they got a boost of confidence in their own abilities.”
“No child should live off the street and without an education”
Behind every filmmaker’s story is a message they want people to get, a voice that needs to be heard. For Beyhum, this message lies in shedding light on every child’s right to an education and better life.
“No child should live off the street and without an education. Whether the child is a refugee or not, Lebanese or not, is totally irrelevant. All children have a right to education; how else would we combat the ignorance of extremism and put an end to the exploitation and destitution of peoples,” he said.
“It pains me to see how racist my fellow Lebanese are in the way they treat or speak about refugees and refugee children working on the street. It pains me even more to see that the ingrained corruption that exists in Lebanon at all levels of government and society is not only depriving Lebanese of all our basic rights but is also depriving Syrian, Palestinian and other refugees from even more basic rights and in the process. These violations due to corruption and racism put Lebanon in the category of a Human Rights abuser. Is it conceivable that in spite of the fact that international aid grants are being met yet less than what is needed is actually reaching the intended target and that 50% of refugees cannot attain an education due to lack of funds?,” he added.
On making a difference and taking action
To help take necessary action to end the ongoing education crisis, Beyhum is leaving no stone unturned.
He and the team behind MARAM are currently developing a program set to provide education to many children.
“My team is currently in the process of creating an action plan to provide education for refugee/street children that will start out as a pilot program with Maram and her siblings and that will then launch in collaboration with serval NGOs. We will build up this project and try to provide this initiative for as many kids as possible. Ambitious? Yes. But not impossible,” he said.