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Open Borders: Rania’s story


Open Borders: Rania's story

Interwoven with a seductive album of engaging family photos, Rania Hafez shares her story of moving across the world, war in Lebanon, Israel’s invasion and rising religiosity. The glamorous Lebanese women in her family remind us that Beirut was once the Paris of the East and not shorthand for war-torn hell-hole that the phrase ‘like Beirut’ conjures up to today. For Rania aeroplanes were like taxis and she hopes cheaper flights will mean more people see more of the world and that she points out, requires ending visa restrictions.

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funmi said:

I found this video interesting; while watching this, it emphasised to me how privileged I am to be a British citizen, because I have a British passport and it’s easier for me to move around the world. I feel everyone deserves this chance to be able to work/study where they want to without visa restrictions.

Rezwana said:

Whilst watching and hearing Rania’s story I thought she was a very inspirational woman.
She has been travelling since she was a little child and has already probably travelled half the world!
She has shown how she wants others to also travel the world however she points out that due to visa restrictions that isnt possible.
This then sadly means, it prevents people from travelling the world as they may not have a visa to enter the country.
I feel this is unfair and people are not able to experience different parts of the world if they wanted to like Rania.

Bethlehem said:

This video made me realise how privileged I am to be able to have a British passport and also the advantages that I have being born in the UK. The points made by Rania show the struggle that many people go through in enable to live a better life. I agree with many people who have commented on this video with the fact that visas should be scrapped and allow other people to have the opportunity to experience what some people live on a daily basis.

Marina said:

A very inspiring story, which made me realise how important it is to be able to move freely to other countries in order to be able to follow dreams and find a better life like Rania did. I agree with Rania, visas should end and people should have the right to be able to move to other countries widening their knowledge of other cultures.

Sophia said:

This documentary provides powerful support for the idea of open borders and freedom of movement. Rania’s experience was extremely interesting and it demonstrated that not all immigrants move to the U.K for economic reasons. Often it is perceived that the U.K is a ‘promise land’ for those moving from abroad, but Rania reasons for staying here and her initial experience of being unimpressed by the U.K was important in highlighting that an individual’s circumstance is crucial in their decision to move. She provides a unique perspective to the issue of immigration and I would certainly recommend watching this documentary.

WORLDbytes – The School of Citizen TV » Best titles and animation said:

[…] WORLDbytes Video: Open Borders-Rania’s story […]

WORLDbytes – The School of Citizen TV » Best titles and animation said:

[…] WORLDbytes Video: Open Borders-Rania’s story […]

Timothy said:

wanderful story. i love it. Me personally i was born in the UK and raised in Uganda now am back in the UK. I have at least i feeling of what she went through

Travis said:

This video is truly about the benefits of open borders. Rania does well to describe herself as ‘a citizen of the world;’ she has studied many languages, traveled to many countries, and has a natural understanding of the importance of travel. She says, ‘traveling enhances the quality of our lives,’ and this is directly proven by her story about Lebanon in wartime. The looser restrictions on traveling in Europe allowed for her and her family to more or less save themselves from the perils of war. Hers is a refreshing take on the usual migration story, focusing less on the differences between first- and third-world countries and more on migration from the perspective of the migrant. Rania shares how she was surprised at the ‘backwards’ nature of England, reminding the viewer that, to her, England was the land of mystery.

Vijayta said:

As opposed to a lot of immigration stories, Rania is refreshingly different in that she paints a picture that it doesn’t revolve around the difference between developing and developed. It considers the world on an even playing field as she even comments that her first impression of life in England was that it was “backwards,” which is not something one hears everyday. Rather than addressing the issue on an economic level, she argues for the cultural value in being globally aware. It doesn’t center around the act of leaving one’s home country permanently (even though she did herself), rather it endorses the act of traveling itself, which is what the concept of open borders is all about.

Mijanur said:

Seeing those almost sepia-esque (almost certain it’s not an actual word) makes me want to get out my old family photos. This video and Rania’s story really does go to show that no matter where you are from, that families and children have the same aspirations and feelings and often free-er travel (again, not sure if this is an actual word) qould make us all realise that we’re all the same inside.

Theresa said:

England was passe – an international woman who has travelled around the world and didn’t want to go to a grey and rainy country that had launderettes rather than their own washing machine! I liked that and seeing herself as a citizen of the world and having no fears of coming to England is really exciting. I have no idea why we all can’t travel around the world, I cannot wait for everyone to be able to visit England.

Liliane said:

From “one citizen of the world” to another: you gave me so much pleasure in having addressed my saga and that of millions of Palestinians and Lebanese! Respects, my old friend! At 31 years of age, I had made a home, friends and an everyday in 5 countries of the world. As as it all was and as fortunate as I may have been – in retrospect – it has left me with a less than generous thread of “identity” … don’t belong anywhere, yet feel at home everywhere. Held a seminar on that subject a couple of years ago … it’s the story of my life. Thank you for speaking on behalf of all of us, and it’s really GREAT to “see” you again. Would love to catch up when and if you’re in Germany the next time.

Sandra P said:

Is there such a thing as benign sexism then? I thought women’s lot was pretty grim across the Middle east or is that lumping too many countries together?

Piotr said:

Even though she has been able to travel internationally due to her fairly wealthy upbringing, I’m glad that Rania thinks we should all be able to travel freely.

Alessandre said:

Worth demanding Open Borders to let more glamorous women come to the UK, she says women still make getting a husband a priority presumably they can be from anywhere?

J Frens said:

Great I think I might be less snotty about rich Arabs in the future I always thought they lived on another planet in West London. Nice photos.

Julie P said:

Really interesting story but why is she now wearing a veil when she wasn’t before and neither were the glamorous women in the picture.

JD said:

Interesting travelogue rare to hear the story of better off migrants it makes it all seem more normal, as freedom of movement should be.

Zara Fellows said:

Terrific photo album and good to understand Beirut was not always ‘like Beirut’