5 MIN­UTES WITH…

Lebanon Traveler - - NEWS - Zeina Had­dad For the full in­ter view visit lebanon­trav­eler.com

Film­maker Zeina Had­dad sits down with LT to talk about her new doc­u­men­tar y Aal Sekke Ya Train (On The Rails), which re­dis­cov­ers the long-forgotten Le­banese rail­way

HOW DID THE IDEA FOR THE DOC­U­MEN­TARY COME ABOUT?

The idea of the doc­u­men­tar y star ted some years ago with the syn­di­cate of rail­ways and its pres­i­dent. Af ter writ­ing an ar ticle about the rail­ways, I de­cided to do a doc­u­men­tar y on them with the help of the then pres­i­dent of the syn­di­cate, M. Bechara Assi. It was im­por­tant for me to re­vive in the Le­banese mind this im­por­tant cul­tural her itage that most peo­ple have forgotten.

WHO WERE SOME OF THE MOST IN­TER­EST­ING CHAR­AC­TERS YOU MET?

I had the chance to meet three em­ploy­ees in Baal­beck and Ba­troun sta­tions. There is a glance of hope in their eyes that the train will come back one day and br ing back the cul­tural glor y that was lef t be­hind. Un­for tu­nately the two em­ploy­ees of Baal­beck passed away re­cently and the Ba­troun em­ployee star ted an­other job af ter he re­tired, in or­der to sur vive.

WHICH OLD TRAIN STA­TION WERE YOU MOST DRAWN TO?

I was drawn most by Araya sta­tion, which has conser ved whole build­ings, of course in [derelict con­di­tion], and is sur­rounded by trees and green scener y. It took me back in time to be­fore I was born but I can re­draw the glor ious area of the rail­way’s life.

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