Following a Jordanian carton collector named Abu Amar who struggles to balance his Islamic faith with disillusionments and hardships of daily life, Recycle addresses the intricate realities of life in the Middle East during spiraling international tensions from inside the community of al Zarqawi’s hometown.
Abu Amar found himself disillusioned with the chaos that was left in Afghanistan in the 80’s and tried to resolve this confusion by writing a book on Jihad. However insightful and moderate, he has failed so far to publish his work. In the mean time his attempts to build a normal life in the impoverished Jordanian town where the number two wanted terrorist after Bin Laden and Al Queada leader in Iraq—Al Zarqawi grew up are failing. He works day and night with his children collecting cardboard which he sells to recycling companies, an occupation which does not sustain his two wives and eight children. This story shows that for those who change their minds, there is no way back. The carton collector’s daily life is set against the story of the deceased leader Al Zarqawi, as viewed by the latter’s family and the friends of Abu Amar. In his deteriorating situation Abu Amar becomes desperate to overcome his poverty and humiliation in a way that coincides with his beliefs. The locals share their insights on Al Zarqawi and the current situation in the Middle East and the effects of their constraining environment become clear as Abu Amar is heading towards a life-changing decision.
As a film director from Zarqa, I wanted to find out why extremism seems to breed so easily in my hometown. As people opened up to me I realized they are asking themselves the same question. Trying to find answers, I met a man who showed me that even those considered most extreme are not as one-sided as we might think. The carton collector represents the situation in Zarqa and many other problem areas in the Middle East; the tough environment, the complexity of religion, economy and politics and how all this curls together into someone’s daily life.
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