1. Program
  2. /
  3. Film Series
  4. /
  5. Yearnings and Unfulfilled Dreams: from the Personal to the Political.
  6. /
  7. Cinema Fouad + Soha

Cinema Fouad + Soha

Followed by a talk with Omar Gabriel and Soha Bechara

Cinema Fouad 
Mohamed Soueid, Lebanon 1993, 41 min, Arab with English Subtitles, HD Video.

Cinema Fouad is a documentary portrait of Khaled El Kurdi, a young Syrian trans woman living in Beirut. The film follows her journey from soldier to cabaret dancer in an effort to raise funds for her gender affirming surgery. Soueid shows us scenes of El Kurdi’s domestic world: eating, applying make-up, dancing in her bedroom, while also reflecting on her dreams, longings, life and experiences. Gently and compassionately, Cinema Fouad weaves a complex and multi-layered story of sexuality, identity and desire. Through painting this compelling portrait of its subject, the  the film introduces the viewer to the rarely seen underworld  of 1990s Beirut.

Omar Gabriel, Lebanon 2022, 10 min, Arab with English subtitles, DCP.

In a letter to herself, we find out about Soha Bechara’s worries for her teenage son Juan, who some time ago told her that he is a boy in a girl’s body. Soha reflects on the open battle that her child is fighting and on the consequences of their choice to leave Lebanon for Switzerland.


Omar Gabriel is a Lebanese filmmaker and photographer. His work documents human intimacy as a means of questioning social norms. His filmic journeys tell the stories of non-conformists in the context of their respective societies. He uses his art as a tool to defy oppression and injustice.

Soha Bechara is a Lebanese activist and writer. In 1988, she was arrested after attempting to assassinate Antoine Lahad, the leader of the Israel backed South Lebanese Army, and imprisoned for ten years in the notorious Khiam prison. In 1998 she was released after an international campaign, and has subsequently published two memoirs detailing her experience.