• You Want Coffee?

    335 views 1 week ago
    This film was made by Ahmed Younes, who is currently living in The Jungle refugee camp in Calais after leaving his home in Syria. It tells the story of a Sudanese refugee who is making coffee for his friends and his guests on the evening before the Muslim celebration of Eid.

    Fifth day in The Jungle and the Muslim celebration of Eid. Although there were moments of joy today, the camp resonated with a heavy sadness. Usually, this is the time of year for celebration and family, but in The Jungle the rain fell mercilessly. Ahmad was waiting at the cafe when we got there. He'd filmed footage in the Sudanese area of the camp and I realised after about an hour that he was waiting patiently and excitedly to share it with us. At about 5pm the sun shone, and some of the Afghan men hooked up a large speaker from which they played a deep pulsating music and started dancing. As I watched them dance, some with hands bandaged from trying to jump the lorries, it struck me they may be the last in a dying world. And I looked around and saw more men with injuries: bandages around their hands, broken bones, moving awkwardly on crutches, and I noticed, not for the first time, how worn down these people are becoming. Back home often they were well-off, educated, respected. In Calais they join the exodus of men that walk in groups towards the ferry port every night, some with a bottle of water in their hands, others with nothing. They smile and greet me with 'Salam Alekum' as I pass, hopeful innocence on their face and in their voices. I haven't felt in danger here for a moment; a man picked a grain of rice from my leg when it fell during lunch, and beside him the man shook his head disapprovingly. Will their children have such impeccable manners? And dance together in a round to the pounding of ancient music? I've spent time in slums where I've known communities well, but I've never experienced solidarity this intensely. Amidst the pain, frustration, de-humanisation, and abject poverty here, people are still caring for each other most of the time. Below is Ahmed's edited film. He he tells a simple story called, 'You Want Coffee?' Show less
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