good evening everyone im mohammed daher from lebanon. Beofre I came to the uk i though i would have problems with everyone. I couldnt imagine myself in all the places that i went to and all the people that i met. I was in a restaurant one day having my lunch and there was a woman on the same table who asked me to watch her baby for 10 minutes, i know thats boring to be a baby sitter but thats not the point. My arabic features are obvious, and before i came here i thought the people, when they will see us, would run away saying terrorist or something like that, because thats what i was asked about in my visa application. What i want to say is that we must stop the previous judgments and let the kind people of wales, scotland, london, lebanon and the world be onscreen. Thank you.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Raheel Mohammed who has been working tirelessly over the past months to promote the expedition. He has been my right hand man in the build up to the expedition, helping to organise the London Homestays, Manchester and Eton and an impressive array of Press coverage:
Time Out London (Full Page Feature)
BBC London online (Front Page Feature)
Emel Magasine (Feature)
National Society for Education in Art and Design (Magasine Feature)
Aljazeera Online (Feature)
Canvas Guide (Feature)
Brecon Press (Wales)
Post & Journal (Scotland)
BBC Wales (Radio)
Sec Ed (UK’s largest teaching magasine)
amongst others …
I failed to thank him publicly at the celebration and I hope he can forgive me because Offscreen would not exist without him. He is a dear friend and one of the most personable, life affirming people I have ever met. i want everybody involved to know how much he has contributed to this project.
Your humble friend,
As if Sunday was not emotional enough, I had a little accident with my hard drive to top the day off. I have lost much of the video footage from the expedition as the drive has died. There is a magic man who should be able to get it all back but unfortunately this will take time. I will do what i can as i have some of the footage on the cameras but the final film and the dvd of all the daily films will take at least 2 weeks. Please be patient, no one is more upset about this than me. love Barny
It would be an understatement to say this was the journey of a lifetime. It was perfect. Yasmine traveled The United Kingdom: from the polluted air of the big city (and cities all our students came from), to the fresh, pure filtered air of the countryside. From the hustle and bustle, sirens and horns to the serene and tranquil sound of a waterfall. From the modern buildings and man made money making center to the natural and humbled mountains and hill tops. From a taxi ride to a hike in the foothills of the highlands. From the crude, strong and busy Londoners to the gentle and calm of everywhere else.
From the London animals; the graceful police horses, the pretentious dogs, the arrogant cats, the annoying pigeons, the crazy squirrels and the filthy rats…
To the animals of Scotland; the mischievous mutant Haggis (“I’ve never seen a Haggis but I imagine it looks like a cross between a beaver and a seal with longer legs.. Or just a liver with eyes.” - Aya), the hairy cow (“Holy shart..is that a hairy cow? That’s crazy” – Jenna), the mysterious Lockness Monster ((Very Seriously) “Look, I’m only gona be here once and there is something I really want to go see while I’m here. (Long pause).. The Lockness Monster.”) the graceful deer and of course the bloody irritating midges!
To the animals of Wales; the BORING sheep, the ugly cows, the beautiful swans and all those other ones inbetween.
Yasmine has seen many sights around Great Britain that filled her with awe and wonderment, she has smelt many smells that she will never forget, shes driven on roads she may not tread again, but what made her journey complete was the people she met along the way… Her students who loved her. The girls would fight for shotgun and boys beg to drive her. The teachers would look in wander, and question her safety but would secretly want a ride. Her leaders would fill her up with boxes, make her heavy but she didn’t mind. Her helpers she met in different places along the way would look at her with puzzled eyes “Look at that rusty truck” a 5-year old boy of Eton would shout. And finally her pilots, they looked after and kept her company the entire journey.
It’s been emotional for all. It was sad to say goodbye to all those she met in every corner of the UK and those special students who traveled from far to meet her. She is sad to see the end of the road for now, but knows it won’t be long before she steps out again and explores the world.
Until next time.. From Yasmine and Pilots with Love.
Over and out..
HSBC Student Expedition 2008
8 creative students from four countries in the Middle East travel across England, Scotland and Wales in search of an authentic picture of UK culture.