Two Boys, Two Dreams

I saw two films at the Jayu Human Rights Film Festival today, both first-person accounts from eloquent boys. Faridullah's Day Off was a touching account of a young boy from Afghanistan who dreams of going to school, instead of the brick factory, when the muezzen's call to prayer awakens the family each day. Rising in the darkness, the whole family - from the 5-year-old daughter to the father - march to work in the barren, exposed wasteland in which they make bricks. Debts for food and shelter since their house was bombed will probably keep Faridullah an indentured worker his whole life.

"Other children hold book and pencils. I hold a shovel," says Faridullah. "I'm tired of being tough. But I'm doing my best."

Wiping his brick-dusted cheek with his dusty hands, he falls asleep to dream of owning a restaurant with a garden. He and his sisters would eat well and enjoy life, giving free meals to people who couldn't pay. I pray his hard life doesn't harden his generous heart. His final advice to children - "Working is good, but only work part-time, so you can study." May a generous soul give him that chance.


“I'm tired of being tough. But I'm doing my best.” Faridullah in Faridullah's Day Off


“What’s your thing?” Peace.

Jaffa port, IsraelOn my friend’s recommendation, on my first evening in Tel Aviv, I walked through Jaffa port. Alighting at the clock tower, the street bustled with open air restaurants, kiosks, groups of teenagers, wandering couples. The sight and sound of the sea attracted my eye. I went to investigate, and capture the light with my camera.

Meandering around the coastline, I came to a harbour where boats were moored and men were fishing. When tiny lights on their lines submerged, they knew they'd caught a fish.

“Do you like what you see?,” a stranger asked, following the eye of my lens to a pile of nets.

“Yes,” I said, appreciating the colours and contours of net and boat.

“What’s your thing?,” he continued.

“Peace,” I replied.

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