The Beat Of Life



“Don Troop “A Street Musician in Paris Subway

It’s a story about his life behind performing in the street.


I had this idea long time ago as I’m interested in street music and what’s behind performing in the street, what’s the street musician personal life.

I decided to do my final project for the Danish school of journalism in Paris about street music.

Total 15 days in Paris, first 3 days searching all around Paris and walking to know the city and finding musicians till I met Don in Chatelet metro station.

I followed him for 12 days trying to document everything he does.

Don is a great example of hope and challenge, I learned a lot from him, he inspired me a lot with his way of thinking , his philosophy in life and how he balance the relationship between him and his guitar and children.

12 days sleeping on Pierre’s couch in Belleville. Pierre is a French photojournalist working as a freelancer.

I had many challenges while doing this project:

  • Broke my glasses in the 5th day of shooting so I had to work the rest of the days with my old glasses.
  • I was sick like 3 days in the shooting and my head was burning.
  • I had only 2 days to edit, I did the story board in one day and applied in the other.
  • Living in a culture that doesn’t accept the English language and doesn’t speak it, but I managed to survive with same French words and some petit English.
  • I almost got arrested in the Anti G8 protest in Paris but Pierre helped me with his press card.
  • Belleville, where Don Lives is a dangerous area full of drug dealers and prostitutes, I had to go to his place secretly as the owners of the hostel didn’t accept me to shoot inside but it’s important for my story so I went at night without anyone noticing.


Everything in this video was made by me

It’s shot with the Canon 5D Mark II – Canon 16-35mm 2.8 Lens – Canon 50mm 1.4 Lens – Canon 70-200mm 2.8 Lens – Zoom H2 Sound Recorder

Most of the shots were handheld and the rest using a Mini Tripod.

Special thanks for Don to let me be a part of his personal life and document it.

Special thanks for Virginie for teaching me some French words and showing me around and helping me find a place to stay.

Special thanks to Pierre Morel for accepting me in his house for 15 days.

Special thanks to Salma Adel for helping me in research before going there.


Trust me if you have an idea in mind, work hard on your research and GO for it.


Ahmed Hayman     10-6-2011


5 Responses to “The Beat Of Life”

  1. Wow wow, congrats dear !

    I’m writing in french because je sais que tu veux apprendre le français. Je suis ravi de voir le résultat de ton travail, c’est intéressant, excellemment bien filmé et le montage est très propre. Je suis heureux d’avoir pu contribué à ce que tu réalise ce projet et, au delà de ça, à avoir pu faire ta rencontre.

    A bientôt, continue comme ça.


  2. im lost for words man, this is absolutely amazing! great work, great story on so many different levels!

  3. Félicitations pour ce très beau travail, touchant et intéressant. Les images racontent à merveilles ce que Don nous explique à travers ses paroles. Mabrouk! This is in French just in order to keep Pierre’s idea :p.


    p.s. the quality of ur work improved so much than i’ve last seen that video of u back in Egypt, when u were working on the sewerage project. yet the sensation is kinda different, it seems as if you have changed the way you look at things. Any how, good job.

  5. Wonderful! I love the video and specially the last scene. It was great meeting you in New Orleans and I look forward to seeing you again and working with you in future project. You are an amazing artist my friend.

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