In this Christmas DVD, the birth of Jesus is shown in a present-day Bethlehem hemmed in by the Separation Wall. Biblical songs and hymns together with readings from story posters on the Wall bring out a unique women’s perspective on the Palestinian narrative of oppression and sumud or steadfastness.
YOUTH FROM PALESTINE
Hududand Warda (2008)
Two short animation movies were made in a project jointly led by AEI and Caméra Etc. (Liège, Belgium). Two animators of Caméra Etc. came to Bethlehem for two weeks in order to create the films together with groups of kids and youth from the Bethlehem area.
Hudud(8’) was made by youth aged between 15 and 17 years coming from Bethlehem and Dheisheh refugee camp. They chose five fictive characters to illustrate the daily life of Palestinian youth. “Hudud” is an Arabic word that means border, limit.
Warda(4’) was made by a group of kids aged between 8 and 12 years. Warda or “flower” is the name of a Palestinian Little Red Riding Hood. The kids imagined what would happen if Warda, on her way to grandma, one day would encounter the Wall.
Here, in Palestine (2008)
The documentary “Here, in Palestine”, was made by two young Belgians, Céline Darmayan, volunteer in Palestine sent out by Javva (Belgium), and Anaële Hermans, volunteer for AEI-Open Windows (Palestine). They went to different places (cities and refugee camps) in the West Bank and asked youth to speak in front of a place that gave them a positive feeling and in front of another place that gave them a negative feeling.
The three short films have been made possible with the cooperation of the Youth Program of Euromed.
"The writing on the wall"
The 10-minute English-language film "The writing on the wall" is the reflection of a collective educational experience. In spring 2004 AEI organized a workshop for some 150 persons in Ramallah where participants brainstormed about the kind of graffiti, drawings and drama images they found suitable for putting on the Wall. With a bag full of ideas and materials, AEI and filmmaker Ramzi Hodali afterwards worked to develop a film showing the products of the workshops. The result is an original and creative montage in which the graffiti, through computer techniques, is projected on images of the Wall.
This brief film is excellent material for a warming up or introduction to discussions on the Wall or the Palestine-Israel conflict. It was sponsored by the Justice and Peace campaign in which Dutch development organizations and peace movements participate.
"Blessed are the Olives"
The 33-minute video "Blessed are the Olives: Voices of Palestinian Women Under Siege" has been made by the women's group of the Arab Educational Institute in Bethlehem during the Autumn of 2004 as part of a course supported by Pax Christi Netherlands about how to develop video materials on Palestinian reality and identity for foreign audiences. The women's group discussed choosing topics for the film, how to write a scenario and script, and how to organize and manage the filmmaking process on the ground.
The film shows the great difficulties Palestinian women face, even more so when they live closely to the Wall and checkpoints, as well as the spirit and determination they have in taking care for their families and communities. The title had been chosen to show the connection Palestinian women feel to the land and their culture as a source that supports them to go on against all the odds.