Zahra Mackaoui

Democracy Camp

Al Jazeera Witness

It is the summer of 2011 and the heat generated by Arab Spring matches the soaring temperatures across the region. We are in Egypt at the only pan Arab summer camp, where teenagers from across the region come to learn about digital self-expression. They make films, music and learn theatre in the course of two weeks in a small oasis by the Suez Canal. This year, however, rebellion is in the air. Recently inspired by events in their home countries, a group of teenagers decide to put theory to practise. They want to make their own revolution.

But after the initial euphoria of rebellion, partisan divisions begin to emerge amongst the teenagers and the spirit of unity fades. Reflecting the mood that would take over the region only months later, our characters, Mostafa from Egypt, Anmar from Palestine, Hamza from Tunisia and Rahma from Yemen discover for themselves that democracy is far more complicated in practise. And on their return to their home countries, they struggle to hold onto the revolutionary fervour as the reality of Arab Spring become apparent. Has history gone full circle?