Finding My Lebanon Short Film, By Mark Abouzeid

Finding My Lebanon Short Film is a sponsored project of the International Documentary Association.

Finding My Lebanon

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Think about a little boy’s childhood dream to find his ancestral home, his sense of history, to understand why he is the way he is. 

Mark Abouzeid is an explorer. He spent a lifetime capturing the living heritage of others, travelling from the North Pole to the desert where he lived with the Bedouins, from Mount Fuji to the Mediterranean to capture the oral histories of the sea faring cultures. He is a storyteller, a man who believes that those who tell stories rule the world. 

“Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to go home. Not my parent’s house, in whatever country they happened to be living in at that time, but instead, my ancestral home, the land of my dreams.

Roots were something I have never known, will never know; not in the US, not in Hong Kong, not in Tuscany. I was born to travel, to embrace new languages and cultures, to reject attachment,” shares Abouzeid. 

Before his father died, Mark interviewed him on their family history and the things he learned intrigued him to find his “home”, his Lebanon. For the first time his past was revealed to him through stories, pictures and never met before family members. 

We all have a past.

Our heritage is what connects us as human beings. We are all unique and it is that uniqueness that allows us to leave a fingerprint on the world.

This is the story of an “orphan”, the kind of orphan who was raised without any knowledge of his roots, his past, his heritage. It is a little boy’s childhood dream to find his ancestral home, his sense of history, to understand why he is the way he is. 

Whether you are Lebanese or not, join us on the journey to discover the real Lebanon; to show the world that our roots, whatever they may be, are a resource to learn from and to teach our children.

A Childhood Dream for All to Share

From the outset, this was a personal story for one man and his children.  It has become so much more… 

Each person who met Mark and heard his story opened their doors and shared his vision and their lives. They joined together to help Mark find his Lebanon, offering their experiences and resources. Robert Fisk, award winning journalist and writer, Barbara Masaad, awarded cookbook writer, Michel Elefteriades, emperor of Nowheristan, Rania Abouzeid, award winning journalist and many more, shared their own past and in doing so told some aspect of Mark’s own story through their voices. 

It is a story meant to inspire all of us to go search for our past, to learn from it and to understand how it helps define us. It is for all the protagonists and audience of this film: an opportunity to see Lebanon through new, clean glasses.


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