Wednesday, April 15, 2009

West vs. East or something like that

Dalia lives in a bubble (self professed), likes “snus” (Swedish form of tobacco) and has a young Barbara Streisand look (and I mean that in a positive way); big, bright eyes that seem to smile even when her mouth doesn’t, although the latter never happens. Just-got-out-of-bed hair dew. Jeans and t-shirt. She is a Jordanian documentary film-maker. Her latest film, Arabizi (think Spanglish or Swinglish), discusses the ongoing trend in the Arab world to forego written Arabic, instead settling for a watered-down English. It was shown on Al-Jazeera last year and got enough attention and praise for her to get green-lighted for another piece with them. This time, she is focusing on West vs. East Amman.
Also: a Japanese publisher wants her to write the love story between herself and this Japanse-Canadian pilot who died when his plane crashed in the Wadi Rum desert some four years ago. They were an item back then, and had so been for a couple of years. He used to write children stories for her, don’t ask me why. But his mom now really wants them published, kind of as his legacy. The Japanese publisher only agrees if the children stories are intertwined with some heart-breaking, mushy adult love story. She is currently contemplating what to do.
She sees herself as middle-class; can’t afford a car, but somehow affords to travel abroad every six months or so. Got a degree in filmmaking from Goldsmith institute in London. And yes; she admits that she and her friends live in a bubble here in West Amman (which is more a mental state than geographical). She has no friends from the East side, although she would like to have, she says she would be hesitant in marrying one from there; cultural differences and all that. She says it in a very self-conscious way, really trying not to sound elitist. But does an elitist usually admit to being an elitist? I sound harsh, I know. I only barley mean to, though. After all; am I so different?

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