Ali El Arabi
Egypt | 2021 | 75 min
Swiss Premiere
Language : Arabic
Subtitles : English, French

Fawzi and Mahmoud are Syrian refugees living in Jordan’s Zaatari camp where they are training to fulfil their dream of one day becoming professional footballers. When they are selected to join Qatar’s academy for young hopefuls, their lives change dramatically. But they need to be the best to continue the adventure, otherwise they will have to return to the camp.

Fawzi and Mahmoud are Syrian refugees living in Jordan’s Zaatari camp. Stuck in this enormous city made of tents and prefabricated houses, they, like many young people, see football as one of the only ways out of the camp and towards a better future. Regularly, a delegation from Qatar comes and scouts for young talents. Fawzi and Mahmoud, local heartthrobs and inseparable friends, have a good chance of joining the Aspire academy for young hopefuls, training in one of the Emirate’s high-end sports centres. Managing to join the ranks of those who will perhaps become international players, their position could quickly turn their lives around. Rubbing shoulders with their idols and enjoying one of the best training environments, their adventure will only continue if they outdo themselves, become the best, and get noticed by a club. If they fail, they will have to return to the camp, where a very different reality awaits them. Ali El Arabi follows them very closely in this unusual journey, delivering a story of a unique friendship made of hope and resilience.

Aurélien Marsais 

Forum 2021

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Q&A Captains of Zaatari | Ali El Arabi

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