If you grew up in the UAE, chances are you would have found yourself in Ahmed’s shoes at some point, pleading with a parent to greenlight your plan to study overseas.
The next chapter in the ‘Bayat: A Solemn Promise’ series is a poignant tale that explores a father and son dynamic who are at opposite ends of a decision that could very well change their lives for the better.
Ahmed is a college-going youngster who is feeling the pressure as several of his friends are slowly moving away from the UAE, chasing their dreams to land them on the shores of Canada or the UK. Ahmed is your typical Arab teen, a homeboy at heart but one who is eager to follow suit with the permission of his father Mustafa.
Upon hearing Ahmed’s plea, the trepidation Mustafa displays is one perhaps every parent experiences when facing the empty nest. The five-minute short film packs a sucker punch along the way, informing viewers that his wife has passed and his only child is looking to move continents. Yet, it raises a valid question as well: is he planning to move for the right reasons?
Even as he attempts to convince his father, the words that really hit home is when Ahmed says with the bravery of young teen: “I am investing in my life wisely father.”
Perhaps it’s those very words, or the sincerity etched on Ahmed’s face, but the discussion lands them eventually in the offices of Bayat Legal Services for a pro bono consolation to dream big in Canada for Ahmed’s Masters degree.
As the father appeals to the agent to give it to them straight, the realism of the story has a core human connection with us all. Whether or not Ahmed goes west eventually, his story resonates emotionally with many of us, while giving hope to hundreds like him who never stop dreaming big.