Wajd: Songs of Separation

Wajd: Songs of Separation

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 8:30pm
Saturday, May 12, 2018 - 5:00pm
Audience Sponsor(s)
Amar Chebib | 
Canada |
 2018 | 
89 minutes

After the trauma, turmoil, and dislocation of war, how does one begin to pick up the pieces and heal? In 2010, Syrian-Canadian filmmaker Amar Chebib headed to Syria, just months before chaos broke out, to film a short documentary about traditional Sufi music. Five years later, the friends he encountered on his trip are dispersed around Europe, and have become refugees like so many others who were forced to flee Aleppo. Wajd: Songs of Separation introduces us to three men—Ibrahim, Abdulwahed, and Mohamad—all talented musicians, who are re-assembling their lives in Turkey and Holland while they await uncertain futures. What unites them all is a love of Syrian music and a devotion to their country.

Ibrahim and Abdulwahed recover from the loss of loved ones and imprisonment by finding a music teacher to help them channel their creative energies and nostalgia for home; Mohamad, living in a Syrian refugee house in the Netherlands, anxiously awaits his family’s arrival while commiserating over all that has been left behind. Chebib’s film is a moving testament to both the heartbreak and loss of civil war, and also the resilience of the individuals at its centre. It is also a beautiful meditation on the healing and life-affirming power of music and creative expression. While each man has witnessed unspeakable horrors and suffered terrible pain, they find connection and balm in the lyrics and melodies of their homeland. -PP


Amar Chebib

Syrian-Canadian filmmaker Amar Chebib began making videos in his youth while growing up between the Middle East and North America. He graduated from the Vancouver Film School in 2006 and has since directed various short films, music videos, and commercials around the world. Amar currently resides in Vancouver where he directs and produces short branded documentaries through his production company, Luminus Films. Wajd: Songs of Separation is his first feature length documentary.