Emirati man bullied for being half-Filipino

Emirati man bullied for being half-Filipino
The 10-minute movie shows the boy struggling to choose between his Filipino heritage and falling into peer pressure.

Dubai - The film has been made by Emirati film student Ahmad Al Tunaiji and the story is loosely based on Almheiri's real-life experience. The title of the movie is Arasian - which means Arab-Asian.



By Sarwat Nasir

Published: Sat 8 Jul 2017, 8:55 PM

An Emirati-Filipino who was bullied in school for being mixed race has a movie being made about his tragic experience.
Majid Abdalla Salim Almheiri was bullied all throughout his school years for being half Filipino, including an incident where bullies cut his wrist and called him 'dirty blood'.
 The film has been made by Emirati film student Ahmad Al Tunaiji and the story is loosely based on Almheiri's real-life experience. The title of the movie is Arasian - which means Arab-Asian.
Almheiri, who has a Filipino mother and an Emirati father, spoke to Khaleej Times about being bullied during his school years. 
"During elementary school, my mom and dad showed up for a teacher conference and my classmates would ask if that person was my mother. I admitted that "yes she is my mom", and then the bullying was nonstop," Almheiri, who is 24 years old now, said. "I was basically being called names every day and my classmates would be like "don't befriend him, he is half, he is dirty" and so on.
"One day I had to go home by bus and so I was caught by my classmates and they took me away - I was gullible. I thought they wanted to say sorry or something. I ended up being jumped by them and they cut my arm, saying that my blood is dirty." 
Almheiri said he had to repeat the school year as he missed too many days getting treated for the heavy wound caused by his bullies.
He put the tragic memories of being bullied behind him after he finished school.
"A message to my bullies would be that we were young but it's not good to judge," Almheiri said. "I mean we were all kids but it depends on the mindset and how families raise them to accept different cultures and nationalities. I don't blame them at all. I hope that now it won't be an issue. I love my friends, my family, and, of course, my mother for giving birth to me."
Al Tunaiji's film shows a 14-year-old Khalifa experiencing something similar, where the boy is attacked by bullies and they cut his wrist. The 10-minute movie shows the boy struggling to choose between his Filipino heritage and falling into peer pressure.
"My intention with this short film is to open a platform for my audience to discuss amongst themselves why does such stigmas exist in the UAE today?" Al Tunaiji said. "On a micro scale, I want my audience to see how every Emirati is an Emirati regardless of whether their bloodline is pure or mixed. 
"The definition of identity needs to be revisited and clarified from only recognising bloodline to something more grounded with logic." 
Al Tunaiji will be submitting the film for the Dubai International Film Festival this year and will release it then for public viewing.
sarwat@khaleejtimes.com
 
 


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