My Maysoon

Batoul Karbijha

Filmmaker Batoul Karbijha uses making a film about her disappeared sister as a means of finding out what happened and as a way of dealing with it. For herself, for her family and for all families who lost loved ones on their way to a better future. 

On 24 August 2014, 20-year-old Maysoon Karbijha disappeared on the Mediterranean Sea. She was on her way from Syria to Europe when her boat capsized. Of the 712 people on board, 488 were rescued, 24 where found washed up on the Italian shore, and the 200 people remaining have been missing ever since. Maysoon is one of them. 

Batoul's search for her sister takes her from Sicily to Tunisia and to Libya, and confronts her with graveyards full of missing migrants, in a labyrinth of ignorance, indifference and powerlessness. The search also results in a confrontation with Batoul’s family. For years, they have not been able to talk about Maysoon and they silently refuse to accept that she may no longer be there. Batoul hopes the search will make it possible to talk about Maysoon with her family. An intimate process in which loss, pain and hope alternate.


Batoul Karbijha
Janneke Doolaard, Harmen Jalvingh
Country of production
Netherlands, The
55 minutes
Spoken language
Arabic, Dutch, English, Italian
Production company
World Sales
First Hand Films