Pink Panther Under Shelling

Yesterday after having lunch with Kafranbel media activists; with Raed Fares, Hammoud Jneid and Khaled Issa, me and my friend suggested that we screen cartoons to refugee children hosted by Kafranbel village (read about this amazing village here and here).

The activists felt discouraged: “children are not children here, they’re now accustomed on the language and the circumstances of war that made childhood a distant idea than a human phase.”

I insisted on trying: “I still watch cartoon until now, in fact, especially now that we’re living war conditions, I am sure kids or at least some, will be pleased.”

Despite Kafranbel activists’ discouragement, we agreed on preparing and screening silent cartoons on January 3rd (today), so we downloaded from the net Pink Panther, Pat and Mat (known as Zingo & Ringo in the Arab speaking countries) among other silent cartoons.

Today at 5 PM we went to a school filled with many refugee children and moved school chairs to the yard with the help of refugee young men. Kafranbel activists hanged with clothes pins a big white fabric to screen on the videos. Luckily for the refugee children, we’ve found a projector and speakers, borrowed a generator from Kafranbel media center and here we are, Pink Panther’s silly smile is in front of us in this dark, children’s clapping broke the shelling’s noise behind us (the shelling targetted Maarra located 10 Kilo from Kafranbel).

Pink Panther under shelling.

Pink Panther under shelling.

We screened a video after another but some of the children, especially those who fled Al-Maaraa asked us to screen videos on the Free Syrian Army and started clapping and chanting: “God save the Free Syrian Army!”

Preparing the screening.
Preparing the screening.

I was confused, I thought to myself: is it really true? Childhood no longer exists in Syria? That innocent childhood phase that I miss and long for when I am down?

We screened a short report on FSA that Kafranbel media activists filmed during battles, but we cut it and continued with the cartoons.

The screening lasted for almost an hour, we ended the screening due to the cold weather. We were approached by the children later on and us to screen “mouse and cat” next time. “You got it!” I said, “but no videos on revolution next time, OK?” I asked the children. “OK, and no Pink Panther next time please!”

We laughed, as long as the kids are demanding to watch cartoons, then I guess we still have hope, we still have hope that our humanity and our children’s childhood won’t be distorted for good.

This is the first time that such screening takes place in Kafranbel, and it won’t be the last for sure.

10 thoughts on “Pink Panther Under Shelling

  1. Dear bloger, you are a genius!!! This idea to watch cartoons to the children is fantastic!!! All what you make is so great!!! You made them recovering they childhood, but they continue to have the free syrian army in their head, and it’s a great experience for them. They are realizing that the two words can exist together.
    Yet bravo and good courage, I am with you always… always!

  2. Dear bloger, I watch your blog to Ignace Leverrier who makes a blog on “Le Monde” since the beginning, and he accepted to publish it (translate by myself). He just needs a pseudonym for you, can you tell me what name you want?
    All my wishes for your fantastic work. Love.

      • Well! I see that my last reply went out! If there is problem, say to me please!
        Mr Leverrier said to me that he will publish immediately your blog at the condition that you promise to continue it now, the time you are in Syria, but also after. He wants to have your blog on a long time, I want to say more than your stay in Syria. Do you agree? I think you can make it with Razan from Sweden after your return? Please say me your opinion, and your blog will be on “Le Monde” tomorrow.
        Can you answer me, and after you can put this reply out.
        Good luck my so dear! See you soon.

  3. Pingback: Photos from Northern Syria | Blogging From Northern Syria

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  5. I’m so Jealous of you, not only you were in this magic place named “Kafranbel,” you also, in the middle of this tragedy, brought some joy to my dear “kafranbelees’s” hearts. Let me confess that so you did to my heart. A real great job. Thank you.

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