War and reconciliation never went in tandem. Struggle and defeat pair well with compromise. Finding one's inner peace in times of war can seldom be achieved alone. The dark thoughts that rule our deepest murk could not fathom the breadth of the task. Our lost souls would find solace only in an alter ego.
This is the story about two alter egos, children of a fait accompli, offspring of circumstances who grew in a civil war, waged against compromise, society and family. Becoming what you planned for yourself instead of what your entourage concocted for you is a battle to end all battles.
102 is a story about things gone wrong, for real, and where, as in real life, happy endings are not always the right endings. It is a story of two fatherless boys, reconciling with themselves at first and then with a harsh reality dictating a path to disaster and failure. 102 is an alternative interpretation of “self-made”, a depiction of how moral wealth outweighs the material one. It is a tale about keeping your nose above the water in an ocean infested with sharks.
102 is the story of two young men who decide and succeed at pushing their limits, going beyond the social, familial and professional contexts. It’s the story of two adolescents who believed they could achieve their ultimate dream whatever the cost.
102 is about two brothers, Ibrahim (Eby) and Jad, torn by opposite personalities, victimized by the absurd civil war in Lebanon, but inseparably bonded by fraternal love, altruistic compassion and the realization that lost souls find solace in their alter ego. They woke up to the Lebanese Civil War in April of 1975, lost and disoriented. Their father died young, while they were aged 12 and 8. Their mother, who was 39 then, now faces the daunting task of raising two young men amidst a civil war, where money is scarce, temptation is strong, and every step along the way is a death wish.
On that April’s day, Eby and Jad witnessed their present disintegrate and future slowly dim to oblivion. They are both now strenuously striving to lay the foundation for a life. They have no outlook, nowhere to go, and no one to talk to.
Handicapped by a dysfunctional home, governed by a patriarchal family, and earmarked by a cruel entourage, they are sailing against the wind and odds. Their once discordant paths converge at the Lebanese Red Cross when Jad decides to quit fighting with the local militia and Eby refuses to get drafted.
102 is the Lebanese Red Cross Center to which they both were assigned, in different teams. There, they discover a purpose, a mission. They both have a creed now, a family, and a reason to sail across the war. Exposed to every possible emotional rollercoaster one can experience, they bear to witness war, death, tears, pain, and love. They console nervous breakdowns and soldiers crying. They bond with newfound friends, and go on impossible missions.
102 is a story about paradoxes. On one end is a path of hope delivered by every mission they both undertake. On the other end is a path of uncertainty, a path devoid of aspiration. With every mission that saves a life comes another day that places the two young men far from a future, far from their true potential, and far from the normalcy an adolescent should be looking forward to.
Although the definition of “self-made” has gained its own stereotype, Eby and Jad had (and still do till the present day) a different interpretation for it, a better rendition of a self-made man. For them it was never about success: they do not acknowledge having succeeded, but rather about the genesis and trajectory forged on one’s own terms and resources. Whatever they achieved so far, they achieved it relying on the unique wealth they possessed: their will and resolve.
“There is no darkness in the whole universe deep enough to dim the light of the faintest candle”.
- Robert Alden