Maya Salem

Broken Hourglass: Myth-making in Civil War

Mentor: Peter Huk

My father, who immigrated from Lebanon to the US on a college scholarship, grew up against the backdrop of civil war. Decades later, I strive to understand the wide impact of this war grounded in regional conflict and religious zeal, while in pursuit of my family’s personal history. The complicated and convoluted history of the civil war in Lebanon is one of many not taught in schools. In reviewing media, literature, and film originating from or around Lebanon, this project seeks to explore questions like, how is memory constructed in a time of civil war or how does intergenerational trauma change communication and stories. Infusing the project with my father’s memories and experiences, I wish to address the subjectivity of a child’s perspective in a political conflict. My work on this project will inform pieces of a memoir that reconstruct history as I go on to tell my father’s immigrant story.

Read an Excerpt from Maya’s Essay “Midnight Oil