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“What Is a Bird” Explores Life in Assad’s Prisons

A new film by Majd al-Samouri draws inspiration from the true stories of those who survived Assad’s prisons writes Zaman al Wasl.
“What Is a Bird” Explores Life in Assad’s Prisons

Syrian director Majd al-Samouri is putting the final touches on a short feature film, “What is a Bird?” The film is based on a true story that took place in one of the regime’s prisons. It is the story of Syrian writer and dissident Michel Kilo.

A jailor asked Kilo to walk into a cell where a woman and her boy were both imprisoned. The woman was taken a hostage to force her father, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, to give himself in. In prison she was raped and gave birth to her child.

The jailor, who happened to be in a good mood wanted Kilo to tell the boy a story, as he was a well-known writer.

Mr. Kilo tried to tell the boy a story about a bird which flew over a tree and stood on a branch. The boy interrupted Kilo, “What is a bird?”

“A bird is a beautiful flying animal that build its nests in trees.”

“What is a tree?” the boy asked.

From this touching story, the writer and director Majd al-Samouri, a Jordan-based director, wrote the dramatic plot of his new film. The film tells the story of a jailer named Abed who moves to a new prison and finds a child, born in prison, who knows nothing about real life. Abed who is married with no children decides to adopt the boy. Being almost illetrate he seeks the help of a well educated prisoners to educate the boy.

The director had discussions with Michel Kilo to learn more details about the story and details of the mother’s cell.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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