Refugee Children and Migration
This week’s episode will center around migration and children. With guest Nadine Labaki who was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for her film “Capernaum”, we will discuss the often-overlooked experience held by Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. We will discuss the power of cinema in reclaiming power for those who have been marginalized. What led Nadine to look at refugee camps and detention camps? What are the conditions with children throughout Lebanon? Why is it important to give visibility to those whose voices are marginalized and why does that matter?
We will also be joined by Semhar Araia, UNICEF USA’s Managing Director for Diaspora & Multicultural Partnerships, who will discuss notions of belonging and what motivates migrants to move. Why do people leave “home” and what are the challenges that come with that? What are the risks and consequences associated with moving to another nation state? How can soft diplomacy solve some of the challenges around migration? With Semhar, we will also discuss the ethnic complexities that come with moving and leaving home, notably among African immigrants.
This will be a powerful episode you do not want to miss. Nadine Labaki The actress, screenwriter and director Nadine Labaki was born in Lebanon. After graduating in Audiovisual Studies from Beirut University, she made a number of advertisements and music videos, many of which won prizes. In 2004, she took advantage of a Residency at the Cannes Festival to write “Caramel”, her first feature film, which she made two years later. It went on to become the biggest international hit in Lebanese film history. Nadine Labaki returned to Cannes in 2011 with “Et maintenant on va où?”, a bold and universal parable on tolerance.
Her latest work Capernaum (which means Chaos in French): The film tells the story of Zain, a Lebanese boy who sues his parents for the “crime” of giving him life, and features a cast of non-professionals playing characters whose lives closely parallel their own. Nadine fully embraced that authenticity during production — she never called “action,” as she didn’t want to alert her performers to a difference between normal life and filming. And when the non-actors’ instincts diverged from the written script, Nadine adapted the screenplay to follow them. Her filmmaking “philosophy,” if you will, is that it isn’t about acting; it’s about capturing whatever happens in the moment.
Capernaum was the winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes. It is the first Lebanese film ever nominated for a Golden Globe, competing in the Best Picture- Foreign Language category.
Semhar Araia As UNICEF USA’s Managing Director for Diaspora & Multicultural Partnerships, Semhar partners with leading diaspora influencers, organizations and communities to support the world’s most vulnerable children. Before UNICEF, she worked for a variety of public and private institutions, including the United States Congress, Oxfam International, Nelson Mandela’s organization, The Elders, and as an attorney for the implementation of the 2000 Eritrea-Ethiopia peace agreement. Semhar is featured in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture, as one of the profiles in the Next-Generation Voices exhibit. She is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of USAID’s Advisory Committee on Foreign Voluntary Aid (ACFVA).
She is an avid Twitter user (@Semhar) and recognized as one of Foreign Policy magazine’s Top 100 Foreign Policy Women on Twitter. She has been featured in the Financial Times, BBC, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Ventures Africa and other media outlets. Semhar was born in New York City to Eritrean immigrant parents and resides in New York City.
About the Mike Muse Show The award-winning, “Mike Muse Show,” which airs on the top-rated Insight Channel on SiriusXM (reaching 35M) sits at the intersection of music, pop culture, and politics. The show features an in-depth conversation with athletes, entertainers, policy advocates and cultural icons as they discuss social issues of the day. Previous guests have included film directors, Ryan Coogler, Ava DuVernay, Common, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Andra Day, Akon, George Tillman Jr., Malcolm D. Lee, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sen. Cory Booker, Anquan Boldin, Enes Kanter, Nina Yang Bongiovi, and many others. The “Mike Muse Show” is the melding of several cross-sections of society to create compelling conversation.
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