‘Did you know that acting for comedy is much harder than just plain acting? We used to put up plays in high school and there would always be a funny character that needed to be played. That would be my part. I enjoyed it and I was good, but eventually I wanted to pursue a career in media. Television, preferably. My theater teacher encouraged me. She said I spoke clearly and selfconfidently. ‘Go host a talkshow for politicians!’, she told me. Especially when I would argue some topic or other and wouldn’t stop asking questions. But actually I don’t like politics, you know? Nor the kind of television that is being produced now. The shows are cheap and they lack quality.
But in all honesty I don’t know if it even matters whether I want to be in television or not. It’s not safe to work for the media here in Lebanon. My family doesn’t like it, and even if they did support me: you need connections on the inside to get that kind of job. Do you understand what I’m talking about? I don’t know anyone on the inside. So I’ve had to let go of that dream.’
It’s not difficult to picture Hala as the anchor of a prime time TV show. She’s sharp. When she talks, others listen. She has charisma.
‘I’ve made a different choice. I work as a teacher and am about to graduate officially as a teacher as well. It’s quite difficult because of the state of the country presently. Schools are in bad shape and I can tell the children are unhappy. The kids with disabilities are the ones that get to me the most. They’re so full of potential. I take them to see all kinds of people – orphans, elderly, refugees. I can see that the kids want to make a difference for these people. I just hope the future will enable them to. At this point hardly anyone can afford getting an education. I myself have two jobs in order to be able to pay for mine. And when I look at my friends: they’re studying and working hard, only to find that there’s no work or salary that matches their skill level. We’re accomplishing nothing and getting nowhere. But I believe that everything happens for a reason. That God can be trusted. And that happiness is a choice. I have learned to be happy, no matter what my circumstance are. As a result I even face my problems with a smile on my face. Our best days are still ahead. I have no doubt about that.
I still watch talk shows, but only the ones with women as presenters. I just like strong women, that’s all. My mother has always taught me that a strong woman works hard, doesn’t give up easily and sacrifices for her family. And of all my ambitions this last part is my main focus at the moment: family. My parents just love eachother so purely and deeply. Not because of money or a house or circumstances. But because of who each of them is. That’s a rare thing these days and it gives us a foundation as a family. We can argue quite intensely, for example, but at the end of the day we share our laughter as well our problems with eachother. Each of us knows: if one of us has a problem, we all do everything we can to help and find a solution. My family makes me want to build my own family…
You know I’m engaged! Look at him, he’s everything to me. He’s handsome, he cares for me, he challenges me. He will go to the ends of the earth for me. For our engagement party I made my own dress. When we marry I don’t want a big event with everyone and their mother – just a joyful celebration with the people I love, funky music, nice flowers. And me as the princess with her little crown.’
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'I just like strong women, that’s all. My mother has always taught me that a strong woman works hard, doesn’t give up easily and sacrifices for her family.'
Hala (23 years old)
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