From October 28th to 30th, LERRN welcomed filmmaker Hicham Kayed to Carleton for three days of workshops and the Canadian premiere of his film “Aisle.” Hicham is a member of LERRN’s Lebanon Working Group and the Deputy General Coordinator of Al-Jana, a Lebanese NGO that seeks to empower marginalized communities through creative arts.

On Monday evening, students, faculty and community members gathered at the Mayfair Theatre to watch the film “Aisle” followed by a Q&A with Hicham. The film followed two Palestinian refugees in Lebanon who made the difficult decision to travel to Germany, leaving behind family and culture for the chance at a life of freedom and opportunity. It highlighted the power of individual stories in understanding the human experience of being a refugee behind the statistics.

Throughout the visit, a display in the history department showed some of the powerful photographs and poems created by Al-Jana’s participants: refugee children and youth from the Palestinian and Syrian communities in Lebanon. One of LERRN’s goals is to amplify the voices of refugees, and Al-Jana’s projects allow refugee youth to document and tell their own stories through photojournalism, filmmaking and writing. Workshops with students and faculty led to productive discussions on telling the stories of children and youth, archiving, and collecting oral histories. Hicham also shared his rich experience as a filmmaker with students in Carleton’s Documentary Filmmaking class.

On behalf of the LERRN team and Carleton University, we would like to thank Hicham for coming to Carleton to share knowledge with us and we look forward to continuing collaboration in the future. LERRN is excited to continue to collaborate on oral history and archival projects, as well as finding creative ways to share refugee voices. For more information on the amazing work of Al-Jana in Lebanon, please see their website at