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  • A Middle East Update | The Freedom Theatre
    the kids under siege amidst shootings of the Israeli troops and stone throwing by the Palestinians fostered their creative and learning activities and eventually a children theatre was formed The little kids of the first intifada grew up to become the grown teenagers of the second intifada Many of them were killed in the various circumstances surrounding the struggle of the Palestinians to liberate themselves from the prolonged occupation Almost ten years on Juliano took his mother Arna then dying of cancer for a last visit to the Jenin refugee camp Out of this visit together with filmed evidence from the first intifada grew his film Arna Children a moving document of bravery and creativity which has since won prizes in New York and Toronto and was shown all over the world The little theatre was totally demolished in 2002 during the Israeli military operation notoriously known as Defence Wall in which the Jenin refugee camp suffered a significantly heavy loss of life and material damage Now a provisional venue was located a Swedish registered NGO was formed as well as an international board including Mahmoud Darwish Judith Butler Noam Chomsky Elias Khoury and other good people and the theatre meant for children and adults was reborn like a phoenix It is now being inaugurated in its provisional locus and a space has already been allocated in the camp for a more ambitious building already planned and awaiting donations to be completed The Middle East has its own sense of time Just after 3 30pm over 400 people densely filled the provisional building carrying the sign of The Freedom Theatre It was originally meant to be called The Arna Free Theatre but Arna specified in her will she did not want nominal commemorations of this sort The Freedom Theatre is a phrase well commemorating her central teaching in this centre namely the theatre liberates About half the audience are children truly reflecting the population of the Jenin refugee camp 13 000 inhabitants around 40 of whom are children A funny group of three British clowns affiliated with an international network called Boomchucka Circus whose stated mission is Bringin smiles to children who don t entertain the younger crowd in non verbal performance Then a line of local dignitaries greet the occasion suddenly all factions on the Palestinian complex political scene including the recent bitter elections campaign seem to dissolve even the Hamas affiliated Mayor of Jenin is here to make a speech Among the greetings a special message is from Nobel laureate Harold Pinter blessing the important enterprise The event proceeds to a one man show by Palestinian author Ala Khlehel performed by an emerging talent in the Palestinian Israeli stage and film scene Amer Khlehel brother of the writer A film he played in Paradise Now just recently is now nominated for the best foreign film in the imminent Academy Award and aptly petitioned against by Jewish settlers and their supporters in conjunction with their call for censorship on

    Original URL path: http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news/a-middle-east-update/ (2016-02-17)
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  • The Freedom Theatre opens! | The Freedom Theatre
    library The Freedom Theatre will be the home of a local theatre group and it will host Palestinian and international theatres and theatre group productions for children youth and adults The Freedom Theatre will also provide drama and movement workshops and music classes for children and youth We will also train youth counselors to work with local children and youth Furthermore The Freedom Theatre will provide psychodrama and movement therapy Currently The Freedom Theatre is housed in a temporary hall which was renovated by volunteers from the refugee camp The hall includes a large theatre with a stage as well as a light and sound system In the coming months The Freedom Theatre will host the following productions The Pessoptimist featuring actor Mohammed Bakri Juha and Bahalool a children s production by the G beina theatre group of Haifa Shams and Nahas featuring actors Hanna Shamas and Aiman Nahhas In the coming week three children groups will embark on their activities joined by a drama workshop for youth led by Mahmod Kaniri and a youth facilitation training group led by Juliano Mer Khamis The Freedom Theatre is joined by an advisory committee that includes poet Mahmood Darwish Professor Judith Butler author Elias Khoury Professor Noam Chomsky Professor Avi Oz actor director Mohammad Bakri Dr Henry Asher human rights activists Abeer Kopty and Khulood Badawi director of Jenin camp Nazmi Iebadi Public relations Jenin governorate San a Badawi actress Salwa Nakkara Professor Suzanne Osten and composer Dror Feiler The opening ceremony will host the following speakers Abd el Razak Abu Elheja head of the Jenin refugee camp committee Nazmi Mohammad Salem Abadi head of social service of the Jenin refugee camp Kadura Mousa governor of the Jenin region Juliano Mer Khamis and composer Dror Feiler The opening ceremony will be followed

    Original URL path: http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news/the-freedom-theatre-opens/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Rebuilding Hope | The Freedom Theatre
    who have witnessed their parents and siblings being humiliated by soldiers They are children who have experienced long interrogation in prison Children who have been prevented from studying when their schools kindergartens were closed down These children who know the Jew the Israeli only as a soldier shooting to kill and who beats and humiliates Today in 2005 we are facing the same circumstances that brought Arna to establish her project Care and Learning in Jenin In my last recent visit to Jenin I observed hundreds of children playing in the alleys of the camp Their main toy was a gun made out of wood The playground was the ruined and dusty neighborhood It seemed like time had stopped still since I was here 10 years ago But it didn t Hope turned into despair and with it brought the most devastating struggle for liberation The resounding cries of the children in Jenin echoes again This gloomy reality was mixed together with the memories of Arna s children and brought us to decide to rebuild the The Freedom Theatre They the children shouted their passion for liberty for an end to oppression and humiliation and for the hope of a better life the hope of the Intifada This is were our paths met a small group of us joined up with and for these children in order to put an end to the crimes and reduce the mental and psychological damage caused by the years of oppression Arna mer Khamis 1993 The Freedom Theatre will provide the children of the camp a tranquil environment to express them selves and create Along with putting on plays we are intending to establish workshops for speech therapy dancing and music But the most important thing is to empower and strengthen the children to

    Original URL path: http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news/1311/ (2016-02-17)
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  • The Work of Arna Mer-Khamis with Palestinian children under occupation | The Freedom Theatre
    robbed of their childhood prisoners and children made homeless This support is expressed in the defense of political prisoners the education of children and the defense of Palestinians against Israeli administrative violence Arna s work is concerned with both refugee camps and urban Palestinian children Arna arranges meetings for these children in private homes as it is forbidden to open schools for them Children meet on a regular basis and she stresses that their number is growing In doing so Arna involves the family in contributing to the child s education They also learn how to lead a group of children with a minimum of simple training Care and Learning succeeded in establishing a Child Center in the Jabal Abu Jihad Quarter in Jenin This center includes a library educational games individual therapy for children with learning disabilities and various cultural activities The center is run by six women from the block It is open seven days a week Hundreds of children find it a warm home and refuge The center was inaugurated on May 4 1991 Another Child Center in the Refugee Camp of Janin will be inaugurated at the end of August A variety of creative activities are provided for the children Arna herself composes workbooks and mending games negotiates with printers and sends letters abroad in a desperate effort to enlist contributions She has also published a pamphlet called Soldiers Beat Children Arna stresses that the policies of occupation create a hostile angry and bitter population A child who is beaten who does not know how to read is humiliated Humiliation is a terrible thing and children react with fantasies of revenge Although there is no blood enforced ignorance like beating is a wound If Israel wants to pursue peace this whole policy is counterproductive Her efforts stress two crucial points 1 As long as Arna and members of her organization visit the occupied territories in a spirit of camaraderie and not as conquerors all the doors and hearts are open to them She and members of her organization are received with enthusiasm and warmth by the children in the camp Often she is defended by them against the wrath of Israeli soldiers 2 Hatred and contempt are the instruments of colonial domination and propaganda tools They are certainly not natural phenomena According to Arna the ultimate goal should be for Jews and Arabs to share this land and to learn how to live together in a state of equality liberty and democracy This is a possible road a desired and productive strategy When Arna was questioned by a French monthly journal as to the reason for the low number of Jewish militants in her organization she replied To give a child the elementary means of education to express himself through writing games Or most Israelis hope for the submission of Palestinians even the Israeli left The majority of those who qualify as members of the peace camp avid direct physical contact with the Palestinian populations Everybody

    Original URL path: http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/news/1315/ (2016-02-17)
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  • News | The Freedom Theatre | Page 70
    of the 22nd August the Israeli army again surrounded The Freedom Theatre and the Nagnaghiya family home Jacob Gough the Acting General Manager at The Freedom Theatre left the office at about 01 45 As I literally Read More Acting student at The Freedom Theatre taken by the Israeli army 6 August 2011 Today at approximately 15 00 hrs one of the third year graduating students at The Freedom Theatre was taken by the Israeli army at the Shave Shomeron checkpoint between the Palestinian cities Jenin and Nablus The student s name is Rami Awni Hwayel age 20 He was travelling from Ramallah to Jenin together with his fellow students Batool Taleb one of the female Read More Theatre under Occupationالمسرح في ظل الاحتلال 1 August 2011 Following Wednesday 27th July attack on The Freedom Theatre the detained persons Adnan Naghnaghiye head technician at the theatre and Bilal Saadi chairperson of the association were taken to the Jalame and Meggiddo high security prisons inside Israel Their lawyer has been denied the right to talk to or visit either of them The reason given by the Israeli army is that Read More The Freedom Theatre Attacked by Israeli Army 27 July 2011 Special Forces of the Israeli Army attacked the Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp at approximately 03 30 this morning Ahmad Nasser Matahen a night guard and technician student at the theatre was awoken by heavy blocks of stone being hurled at the theatre by soldiers and several windows were shattered As he opened the door he found masked and Read More Passengers of the vessel Juliano seized by IDF 19 July 2011 On July 19 2011 Dror Feiler and his fellow passengers aboard the French vessel Dignité Karama were taken into Israeli custody off of the coast of

    Original URL path: http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/category/news/page/70/ (2016-02-17)
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  • News | The Freedom Theatre | Page 78
    Without Borders in Jenin 30 July 2007 Some 700 children gathered in the midst of Jenin Refugee Camp on July 29 to see a circus performance staged by Clowns Without Borders from France as well as the Palestine National Circus School from Ramallah Smiles and laughter abound among the young audience who defying the late afternoon sun came out to enjoy the clownery juggling and acrobatics Read More Do not forget Lebanon 13 January 2007 The opening of the art exhibition Do not forget Lebanon July 2006 became a huge success It took place on the 12th of January 2007 at The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp Read More Special screening of Heart of Jenin 20 November 2006 On Tuesday 25 March 2008 The Freedom Theatre organises a special screening preceding the world release of the film The Heart of Jenin This new documentary tells the story of Ahmad Al Khatib a Palestinian boy from Jenin Refugee Camp who was shot by the Israeli army in 2005 at the age of 12 Despite their grief Ahmad s parents Read More Theatre of the absurd 5 March 2006 The Freedom Theatre Read More Mer Opens the theatre Zbeida applauds 5

    Original URL path: http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/category/news/page/78/ (2016-02-17)
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  • News | The Freedom Theatre | Page 75
    festival include Al Harah Theatre Inad Theatre Fringe Ensemble of Nazareth Asseera Theatre Palestinian Circus School as well as Sanabel Theatre In addition two of Read More The Freedom Theatre under attack 16 April 2009 In the morning of April 15 2009 an unknown individual set fire to The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp Occupied Palestine The main door of the theatre was completely burned but the fire did not spread inside the building and the theatre remains largely unharmed This was the second attempt to burn the theatre On the night when Read More First student production 13 March 2009 The Freedom Theatre proudly presents its young acting students very first in house production Animal Farm an adaptation of the book written by George Orwell The Animal Farm tells the story of a farm where the animals revolt and overthrow the human owner to set the farm up as a commune in which at first all animals are equal however Read More Animal Farmلحيوانات المزرعة 1 March 2009 The Freedom Theatre proudly presents its young acting students very first in house production Animal Farm an adaptation of the book written by George Orwell The Animal Farm tells the

    Original URL path: http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/category/news/page/75/ (2016-02-17)
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  • News | The Freedom Theatre | Page 76
    Suleiman Ruba Blal and Amer Hlehel The event takes place on Tuesday 18 November at 14 30 All Welcome For more information please call Read More DAM performance at the theatre 12 July 2008 On Monday 14 July 2008 at 16 30 Palestinian rap group DAM gives a concert at The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp The first Palestinian rap group DAM was set up in the late 90s and today forms one of the leading forces on the newly emerging Palestinian rap scene The DAM performance is preceded by a screening of Read More First youth photo exhibition opens 2 June 2008 On June 6 2008 at 17 00 The Freedom Theatre opens its first photography exhibition prepared by children and youth in Jenin Refugee Camp The exhibition is called Freedom and Oppression In preparation for this exhibition children and youth in Jenin Refugee Camp embarked on an artistic journey exploring the concept of freedom and exposing the oppression which affects Palestinians today Read More The Journey begins 30 January 2008 The Bad Boys youth acting group have opened their new play The Journey in front of a full theatre hall in Jenin Camp Defying the stormy conditions

    Original URL path: http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/category/news/page/76/ (2016-02-17)
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