5 MINUTES WITH…
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.