Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kilna Bil Hayy

For too long the squabbles of petty politicians and pundits have been perceived as emblematic of the sectarian divisions within Lebanese society. Does this dialogue, or lack there of, really represent demographic interactions within Lebanon? Search for Common Ground believes actual Lebanese people have far more productive and nuanced relationships with one another, and they hope to capture this through their new LBC Series Kilna Bil Hayy. Kilna Bil Hayy follows the lives of six Lebanese children, all from different ethnic and religious communities, living in the same apartment complex. These children work together to build communal pride and problem solve, offering a more realistic and hopeful model of productive dialogue. Kilna Bil Hayy can be viewed on Saturdays on LBC.

Safadi Foundation USA will be providing brief profiles on the stars of the show, showcasing the actors own feelings in communication and peacebuilding.


How has your participation on this show changed your perceptions/attitudes about conflict resolution in Lebanon?
The first thing is the mixing of the religious communities, the dialogue, and to hear the others. This idea changed me and changed my political attitudes. I found common ideas with others especially the people I didn't agree with on politics. I know now that if the potential leaders fight we don't have to do so.

Why is it hard for Lebanese youth to understand each other? How does your show help bridge the difference?
It's hard because of the parents' and political leader's hatred: the inability of the parents to forget the memory of the war, and not being able to open a new page. The youth follow their parents and their political leaders. They follow them without thinking, parents and political leaders are their idols. The program made us go though different situations, good and bad ones, and showed us how our parents push us and how we change their attitudes. For sure it needs time, but we are trying, and by communicating and follow up we can help. Children are so pure and they can help change their parents attitudes.

What can Lebanese children teach adults about effective communication and compassionate understanding?
There is a saying that says: "hear their secrets from their children." Children don't know how to lie. And the problem in Lebanon is that people don't listen to each other. Everyone talks and tells what he wants without listening to the others. When children ask their parents, they will not answer directly, they will try to run away from answers, but by children's insistence parents will finally answer them, and children will make their parents listen to others.

What do all Lebanese children have in common?

The common thing between Lebanese children is Lebanon, education, and having their own common language as well as the religious mix. Some of them have relatives from different religions, and religions mixing in schools.

If you could give a wish list of anything you wanted to Lebanese political leaders, what would it say?Despite the fact that I follow a political leader, the things I wish to do is put all political leaders on one airplane and take them away. I wish to see in the news something about technology instead of about them. I wish parents listen and understand their children. I wish the political leaders leave Lebanon and search for another country to destroy. I wish they leave us and the future youth to build Lebanon. I wish the war ends, and Lebanon will not be linked to war anymore. I wish they form a government that works for Lebanon. We live in peace despite the different political leaders. War are to united with one another so let them leave us in peace; we do not want war anymore.

The Safadi Foundation USA would like to thank the
Search for Common Ground, and the stars of Kilna Bil Hayy for their participation in these interviews.


  1. Search for Common Ground deserves to be commended for its efforts to highlight the elemental notion that a healthy personal identity is not a function of personal religious beliefs or regional traditional political "feudal lords".

    Unfortunately the responses of the very young, such as Nader, are not exactly encouraging. Pity a nation whose youth "follow a political leader" instead of holding these leaders accountable for positions and policies that they promulgate. The interview with Nader serves only to highlight the immensity of the problem that is facing all of us who have an interst in creating a modern, democratic , just state based on equity , sustainability and the rule of law.

  2. I agree with you 100%, Ghassan, and said as much in a recent Daily Star article:

    We should have another student profile up in the next day or two.