Posts Tagged ‘Flüchtlingslager’

Israel: Auf der Mauer (NACHRUF)

Dienstag, April 5th, 2011

In Erinnerung an Juliano Mer Khamis

 

Juliano Mer Khamis während einer Diskussion nach dem Auftritt des Freedom Theatre
in Frankfurt/Main im Jahr 2009. Foto: Bärbel Högner

 

Am Montag-Nachmittag, den 4. April 2011, ist unser Freund, Kollege und Projektpartner Juliano Mer Khamis auf offener Straße im palästinensischen Flüchtlingslager Jenin erschossen worden. Der Schauspieler und Filmemacher Juliano Mer Khamis war Direktor des Freedom Theatre in Jenin – einem Ort der künstlerischen und politischen Freiheit, der der israelischen Besatzung ebenso widersteht wie den patriarchalen und religiös verbrämten lokalen Machtsstrukturen. Juliano war ein unerschrockener Vorkämpfer für einen gerechten Frieden zwischen Israel und Palästina. Er kritisierte die israelische Kriegs- und Besatzungspolitik aufs Schärfste. Genauso schloss seine Solidarität mit den entrechteten Palästinensern die Kritik am politischen Irrwitz und an der Rückwärtsgewandtheit einer vermeintlichen palästinensischen Selbstbehauptung ein. Juliano war schonungslos mit sich und mit den politischen Kräften, die die strikte Trennung und die Unversöhnlichkeit zwischen beiden Lagern auf ewig zu zementieren suchen. Sohn zweier israelischer Kommunisten – einer jüdischen Mutter und einem palästinensischen Vater – verweigerte er sich mit all seiner Kraft und persönlichen Präsenz ethnischen, politischen, religiösen Zuschreibungen, die den Einzelnen nicht mehr die Wahl einer freien Entscheidung und einer eigenen politischen Haltung lassen, die Unrecht als Unrecht erkennt.

In diesem Sinne hat er die Schauspielschule und das Theater in Jenin betrieben. Und er hat dabei mit großer Vehemenz die künstlerische Freiheit verteidigt und dies nicht als eine künstlerische sondern als eine politische Herausforderung verstanden. Immer wieder erhielt er Morddrohungen. Gegen das Theater wurden mehrere Anschläge verübt. In einem Interview 2009 in der taz sagte er auf die Frage, ob er sich in Jenin bedroht fühle: „Manchmal mehr, manchmal weniger. Aber das ist immer noch besser als in Tel Aviv den Entertainer zu spielen.“ Er war kein Hasardeur, sondern ein Künstler und ein politisch denkender und handelnder Mensch, der sich widersetzte. Keiner verkörperte wie er den Brückenschlag zwischen Juden und Palästinensern. Er gehörte zu denen auf beiden Seiten, die die Universalität der Menschenrechte und das kritische Denken gegen die Mehrheitsmeinungen in ihren Gesellschaften verteidigen. Für sie und uns alle ist der Mord an Juliano eine persönliche und politische Tragödie.

Bei der Tournee des Freedom Theatres in Deutschland 2009 sagte er von sich: „Ich sitze auf der Mauer.“ Ein Bild der Freiheit und des Selbstbewusstseins. Aber in Zeiten wie diesen ein todgefährlicher Ort. Juliano Mer Khamis wurde 53 Jahre alt. Er hinterlässt seine Frau Jenny und zwei Kinder.

Zu seiner Haltung und seiner Handlung gibt es keine Alternative. Wir werden, so gut es geht, in seinem Sinne die Arbeit fortsetzen.

Das Team von medico international

Hier weitere Informationen zur Person Juliano Mer Khamis und zu seiner Arbeit im Freedom Theatre

Interview mit Juliano Mer Khamis

Bericht über die Arbeit des Freedom Theatre

Auftritt Freedom Theatre und Juliano in Frankfurt/M.

 

(Quelle: medico international.)

 

Update:

Thousands expected for funeral of slain Theater Director Juliano Mer-Khamis

Israel: Juliano Mer-Khamis ist tot!

Montag, April 4th, 2011

“Israeli actor Juliano Mer-Khamis shot dead in Jenin

 

Juliano mer khamis

Bildquelle: wikipedia.

 

By Jack Khoury, Avi Issacharoff, Anshel Pfeffer and Haaretz Service

Israeli actor and political activist Juliano Mer-Khamis, 53, was shot dead on Monday outside a theater which he founded in a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin.

Jenin police chief Mohammed Tayyim said Mer-Khamis was shot five times by masked Palestinian militants, but that Israeli security forces were still investigating the circumstances of his murder. A Palestinian ambulance took his body to a nearby checkpoint to be transferred into Israel.

Mer-Khamis’ mother, Arna Mer, was an Israeli Jewish activist for Palestinian rights. His father, Saliba Khamis, was a Christian Palestinian. Mer-Khamis was born and raised in Nazareth.

Mer-Khamis was well-known as an actor for his film and theater roles, both in Israel and abroad, and had made a name for himself as a director and a political activist, as well.

Based in Israel, Mer-Khamis was affiliated with the local theater in Jenin, established by his mother in the 1980s. In 2006, Mer-Khamis opened the Freedom Theater in Jenin, along with Zakariya Zubeidi, the former military leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades in that West Bank city.

Zubeidi was appointed co-theater director in an attempt to subdue the ongoing threats voiced against both the institution and Mer-Khamis. The theater itself was torched twice in the past, and the threats persisted despite Zubeidei’s appointment.

Some of the criticism focused on the fact that the theater offered co-ed activities, despite prohibition in the Islamic moral code.

Objectors were also outraged when Mer-Khamis staged the play ‘Animal Farm’, in which the young actors played the part of a pig, which Islam considers an impure animal.

Mer Khamis said he had planned to stage The Lieutenant of Inishmore, a satire of armed resistance, but shelved the idea after someone smashed the window of his car.

Jenin governor Qadura Moussa called Mer Khamis a great supporter of the Palestinian people. He said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told him to bring those responsible for his death to justice.

Michael Handesaltz, senior editor and theater critic for Haaretz, described Mer-Khamis as a ‘great actor, an extraordinary human being whose life-story is part of the tragic reality of this country’, who in his death became ‘another tragic victim of life in the Middle East’.”

(Quelle: Haaretz.)

Update:

Director shot dead outside Jenin theater

Libanon: Shooting hope (FILM)

Dienstag, Mai 25th, 2010

“Shooting hope

By Toni Oyry

(The film Shooting Hope follows a project that uses photography to bring Palestinian and Lebanese teenagers together.

In this article, filmmaker Toni Oyry describes how the teenage residents of impoverished Palestinian refugee camps and their Lebanese peers are learning to see the bigger picture of their neighbouring communities through the lens of a camera)

Pictures of Baghdad flash across a computer screen in a small office in Beirut.

‘Every picture you take stays in your memory, pictures are never forgotten,’ said Ramzi Haidar, an award-winning Lebanese photo-journalist.

This was the start of our journey into the lives of Lebanese and Palestinian teenagers living in the coastal city of Saida in south Lebanon.

The two months we spent following Haidar took us from an office buzzing with volunteer photographers, journalists and artists, to the ancient souks of Saida and the narrow alleyways of Ain al-Helweh, the largest of the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

Opening eyes

The pictures Haidar was showing us told the story of Iraqi orphans abandoned after social institutions collapsed in the wake of the 2003 US-led invasion.

Having seen these children lured into the dark world of glue sniffing, drugs and abuse, Haidar wanted to show them that there was still hope.

The idea of using photography training as a method to open their eyes to the surrounding world was born.

‘The security situation kept getting worse very quickly and I had to take the decision not to return to Baghdad. It was too difficult to be there … but the idea stayed with me,’ Haidar told us.

In 2006, he was able to bring the idea to life in his own country.

It began with 500 children living in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps being given disposable cameras and trained in basic photography.

The result was a photography book called Lahza and several international exhibitions of the pictures.

Walls of prejudice

In 2009, the idea was taken to another level when Haidar’s non-profit organisation, Zakira, began a nationwide training programme with the aim of bringing Lebanese and Palestinian teenagers together.

There are 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, but an invisible wall of prejudice often separates those who live inside the camps and the Lebanese communities that exist just beyond the army-guarded entry points.

Haidar’s project aims to break down those walls and to initiate a process of dialogue between the neighbouring populations.

The year-long programme included all of the Palestinian camps in Lebanon and their surrounding Lebanese communities. In total, Zakira trained more than 200 Lebanese and Palestinian teenagers in advanced photography.

We decided to follow their work in Saida.

Breeding ground

Ain al-Helweh is often viewed as a breeding ground for militants and a hideout for criminals, but it was the warm hospitality of its residents that greeted us.

Once you pass the Lebanese army checkpoint at the entrance to the camp, you cannot help but feel that you have entered another era – images of Yasser Arafat, the late Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader, cover the walls.

The camp is known for its weapons and turbulent history, but we were interested in the hundreds of children in brightly coloured school uniforms who poured into its alleyways in the afternoons, the teenagers who gathered on street corners wearing the latest fashions and the youngsters working to help support their families in the camp’s many garages and workshops.

These third generation Palestinians in Lebanon are as energetic and hopeful as any teenagers – the dream many of them share is simply to break away from the poverty of the camp.

But, declining living conditions, political instability and unemployment in and outside the camp have deepened the mutual distrust between the camp’s Palestinian occupants and the wider Lebanese population.

Haunted city

The history between the Lebanese and Palestinian populations of Saida is complex and can be traced back to 1948 when the first Palestinian refugees set their tents up there.

Over the years, PLO fighters have roamed the streets, Lebanese militants have attacked and besieged the camp, both communities have endured heavy Israeli bombardments and there have been several assassinations.

Instability and violence continues to haunt the city.

But, life in Saida is much as you would imagine it to be on the coast of the Mediterranean – fishermen fill the port with their small boats, while the cafes that line the corniche are filled with people smoking water pipes and drinking coffee.

The teenagers were given cameras so that they could reveal, through their photography, how they see their lives as they navigate the violent religious, ethnic and political divisions that scar the country.

For many of the Lebanese teenagers participating in the photography project, it was the first time they had communicated with their Palestinian peers and the first time they had witnessed the living conditions inside the camp.

While the Lebanese government, the UN and several political and social organisations are working on the slow process of establishing dialogue between the decision-makers in the two communities, the need to improve conditions inside the camps, to provide adequate social services and employment opportunities is urgent.

Those involved in the project hope that the friendships established through it may in time turn into solidarity between the two communities and that that solidarity may be utilised to improve the prospects of those living inside the camps.

By learning how to observe a situation through the lens of a camera, the teenagers are in fact learning how to see the wider picture of their lives and those of their neighbours.

This increases the likelihood of them working together for a better future.

That better future may take the form of improved living conditions on both sides of the camp walls or it may mean building careers as professional photographers and journalists. But all of those who have participated in the project have been equipped with the skills to become messengers for their communities and to shape their own futures.”

(Quelle: Al Jazeera.)