Qatar-based Fatma Al Remaihi, a cinema enthusiast and one of the jury members of 20th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival’s Competition Section, said the global mainstream media has “misrepresented” Middle Eastern women only as victims of violence and repressed to voice their opinion. “I think the image of Middle Eastern women is completely misrepresented worldwide. The mainstream media has painted our region as a whole, wrong. We are not always repressed, we are not always the victim of violence, we have our voice and we hold them strongly,” Fatma Al Remaihi, who is also the CEO of the Doha Film Institute (DFI), told IANS on Saturday on the sidelines of the ongoing festival. Being a modern Muslim girl and travelling the world to break the stereotype about her community, she faced different kinds of questions that made her understand how distorted they were.
“The question that I found amusing is when people come up to me saying, ‘you wear hijab and you come from the Middle East. It must have been difficult to be a woman there’. Well, the fact is, that is not true. There are so many female independent filmmakers in Qatar who express their opinion through the movies they are making,” Fatma said. Emphasising on the filmmakers in Qatar who are nurtured by the DFI, she said: “Since I believe that cinema has the power to start a conversation, share our story in our way, with a nuance that is mostly misunderstood in mainstream, more and more filmmakers from Qatar and our part of the world should be encouraged.”
Giving the insight into how Bollywood cinema is popular in Qatar, Fatma believes in the importance of building an audience for independent cinema in her country from across the globe.(IANS)