Final Project Update #3

This time, we wanted to explore where macaws are being traded to add more information to our project. At Al-rai area, there are several markets where bird lovers can buy and sell birds, and also purchase their important supplies (food, toys, equipments..etc). So my group and I went there yesterday and had the chance to get to know Osama’s shop, Rare Birds, where he trade his macaws. 

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@rare.birds shop logo

When we headed there, many hobbyists were gathered around a small macaw garden, which you can see in the picture below. Again, It was super loud with the noises as there were around 5 shops in the area and each shop contained more than 15 different kinds of macaws inside. (More infos in the final post!) 

It was a very lovely atmosphere, people were enjoying and macaws were also enjoying especially cause It’s winter and they love the chilly weather. They were dancing, screaming ..everything! and we FINALLY got to shoot videos of them talking! I realized they literally understand like humans. One of them kept saying my name. Well, It was more like Lalal but yeah… good try. I was so excited that the camera went out of focus. 😀 

Also, we had a great time knowing and talking with new bird hobbyists and they all have such great vibes, very energetic and lovable. Speaking of energy, I can’t thank Osama enough for being the most helpful and down to earth man. He was very patient with us and he were such a good guide in video shooting as he has experience in that too. Btw, since his shop has an offer every Wednesday of this January, he sold one bird there yesterday to some guy. I Guess we sent him some lucky charms. 😛  

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Final Project Update #2 – Fun outdoors with macaws

Just like kids, macaws are social and they love playing around people. Hence, It’s important for them to have outdoor activities. My group and I decided to attend a show for macaws that was held yesterday at the Defense Camp located in Sabhan, and we are so lucky as it was a great chance to capture more photos and videos for our final project. Honestly, this was the only time i felt like i had to literally capture every little detail..(more than 200 files…RIP my camera memory card.) and at the same time I was having a great time, It didn’t feel like it was an assignment requirement at all. I can’t describe how amazing everything was..families..kids..elderly..everyone was extremely happy with the beauty of colorful macaws.

At the camp, It was nice seeing Osama Mandani and his lovely macaws again, and you will see in the upcoming video his great techniques of holding and communicating with them. Also, we had the pleasure meeting the rest of the macaw hobbyists including the creator of the group Hussain Mandani, Osama’s elder brother, who talked with us about his establishment of this idea. We also got to know more about this group which is called Hewaya Tejma3na. We even interviewed some of them, and once they knew our purpose of the interview they got super excited to share their knowledge. They were very supportive and they insisted to see everything after we are done editing! The interesting fact is that some of the members are females which was impressive for me to know that girls can have such unique passion for taking care of macaw birds. Stay tuned for the final result of this assignment.

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Mandani brothers and a smiling pose for the camera
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Hewaya Tejma3na team between the happy audience

Initiative Meets Beauty ( Final Project Update #1)

Here we are with a new interesting character and a very unique hobby. I never thought that we have parrots in Kuwait until I met Osama Mandani, a hobbyist of compiling rare and expensive type of parrots called Macaw. Huge, colorful, social … and yeah, they can talk! I was truly captivated by the size of these birds and their colors are absolutely stunning ..such delightfulness for the eyes! 

Mandani is actually a member in a group, which has the same interest of collecting and training Macaws, whom we will be interviewing later on. Meanwhile, my group and I headed yesterday to Mandani’s house for the first time to explore where he keeps his “children” as he says. To be honest, It was really scary to see those parrots with all the loud screaming and sudden flying. I ended up with 3 Macaws on my head and arms.. so It was a bit of a challenge to capture photos with company on my upper half. 😀 

What we aim in this project is to spot the light on something that most people lack the knowledge about. Can’t wait to share more information and facts about Osama and his beautiful Macaws and more content of our story. Be ready to see the beauty of God’s creation. 🙂 

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Osama Mandani

Dave Isay – StoryCorps

One of my favorite things to do in my spare time is watching TED Talks, which is a great source of education and getting inspired by speakers with experience or stories. I came across this video few days ago which I can relate to what I’m learning in the multimedia class this semester.

As we know, in journalism, An interview is one of the most important tools to obtain information, expand on informations that we already have or to see things from different perspectives. 

This speech focuses on the important value that an interview serves, not only for journalistic uses, but also for building personal connections. The radio producer, Dave Isay, reveals this by saying that the simple act of being interviewed can mean so much to people, particularly to those who’ve been told that their stories didn’t matter. In 2003, Isay had this crazy idea of launching a booth where two individuals can sit and talk to each other as if it was the last conversation they would ever have while being recorded. At the end of the interview these two people can get a copy of the audio so that It could be passed to the next generation. He called it the StoryCorps. Today, StoryCorps is known as a non-profit organization for sharing humanity’s stories and teaching the value of listening to build connections between the Americans through oral recordings. Today, also, StoryCorps has an application to ease the process of sharing audio files and let the world hear your story. Click here to download.

I find it very beautiful how when you hear a StoryCorp audio, you must feel something, It can either make you laugh, cry, smile, or connected to the person somehow. Some examples are shown in this video below. My favorite one is the interview between Joshua Littman and his mother, Sarah.. Very touching but funny at the same time. Click here for direct access to the audio.

VideoStory – A Mother To an Angel

Shaikha is a woman i knew on Instagram three years ago, but I decided to meet her in person for the first time to make this video. She is a 33 year old single mother of a little boy Mohamed who used to have an older brother named Ahmed, but he passed away at age 4 due to asthma that attacked him in his sleep in 2011. As Shaikha said, the two boys were like best friends.. they did everything together but fate has chosen to take one of them and they separated. Fate has also chosen for Shaikha and her husband to separate because she thought it was better for them to continue living their life away from each other. “I prefer for my boy to see me happy alone than miserable with his father.” She said.

When baby Ahmed died, Shaikha had to deal with gossips about the death of her son and how some people thought it was a punishment from God. They also thought sarcastically that she never looked sad about it. She said that she may looks strong all the time but inside of her she is still broken. “I don’t care what people say..I’m proud that I had the chance to raise an angel.” She said. She also said that the only time she would cry on Ahmed is when he visits her in her dreams.. but at the same time she would feel happy that she saw him. 

Today, Shaikha lives happily alone with Mohamed who is in grade 3 now. He is a very sweet boy and everyone loves him at his school. His mother always makes sure that he has a lot of friends and she literally does and buys everything for him. Oh yeah, he loves Cheetos btw. I remember Shaikha told me that she loves Mohamed’s sense of humor..He is so funny that one morning he placed a can of Coke on the kitchen table along with a little note that says “Do not drink Coka Cola, It’s poisoning ..but you can drink Pepsi.” 😀   

Note: The song chosen in the video is Shaikha’s favorite..It reminds her of Ahmed. Also, the last clip of the video is a real video of Ahmed impersonating Michael Jackson’s dance moves. 

Video Storytelling : Challenges

Creating an impactful video story is one of the hardest tasks for several reasons. First of all, in this assignment, you have to come up with a story that’s worth to be told whether about a place or a person, so after many and many ideas and thoughts, I chose my story to be about a person.. a strong woman and her lost baby boy whom I’ll be talking about more in my next blog post. (Stay tuned!) 

It seems to me though that the biggest challenge to make the video was TIME. That’s because thinking about a good story itself takes days and sometimes weeks, and shooting plus editing the video should take at least two weeks. 

However, I’m super excited to share the video and I’m happy I was given the chance to make it because not only did I learn a lot about video storytelling, but I also gained a great friendship with this woman and got to know her in a deep level. Can’t wait for everyone to know her emotional story. 🙂 

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Baby Ahmed, an angel in the sky ..