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Saturday, May 05, 2007


'Quest for Justice and Right of Return Inspires Generations'

Winning Poster, Qutaiba Aboud, Aseera al Shemaliyya, Nablus
BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
2007 Al-Awda Award Festival – Celebration of Creative Resistance
BADIL, 1 May: “Today we have crossed walls and borders. Your presence, energy and works prove that the quest for justice and the right of return inspires generations,” said Palestinian novelist Salman Natour, moderator of the 2007 Al-Awda Award Festival, to the full theater hall of the Cultural Palace in Ramallah.
The 16 winners of the Al-Awda Award were honored by Palestinian artists, scholars, politicians and professionals, members of the jury and award committees, a special performance of the Palestinian dance troupe al-Funoun al-Sha'biyya, and an audience of over 750 who had arrived from Haifa, Nazareth, and the refugee camps and towns of the occupied West Bank.
Best short films and posters were exhibited during the event.BADIL's Al-Awda Award encourages cultural expression on the Nakba and Palestinian refugees' right of return. For photos of the event and copies of the award winning posters, see: www.badil.org
The winners of the 2007 Award are:
1.Qutaiba Aboud, Aseera al-Shemaliyya, Nablus
2.Muhammad Abdel-Ghanni Saba'na, Qabatya, Jenin
3.Rana Bisharat, Tarshiha, Nazareth
Children's Stories:
1.Maliha Maslamani, Jerusalem
2.Ahlam Bisharat, Jenin
3.Majdi Shomali, Beit Sahour
Research Papers:
1.Maliha Maslamani, Jerusalem
2.Jabra'il Shomali, Beit Sahour
3.Sabreen Zaban, Jerusalem
Oral History Documents:
1.Rasha Abu Zaytoun, Deir al-Ghassoun, Tulkarem
2.Rashad al-Madani, Gaza
3.Maliha Sa'id To'ama, Tulkarem
Short Films – Drama:
1.Shadi Srour, Nazareth (“Ya Ana, Ya Haifa”)
Short Films – Documentary:
1.Tha'er Abdelrahman al-Azza, Dheisha camp (“Erth Mukhayyem”)
2.Du'a' Anati, Hebron (“Risha Min Wahi al-Zakira”)
3.Raneen Jiries, Kafr Yassif, Galilee (“Nisa' Filastiniyat”)

We have some real talents in Palestine.

Asad al nimr,
Perhaps Rachel Corrie also deserves a mention here. I saw the play based on her writings "I am Rachel Corrie" in Seattle about a month ago. The play is a 90-minute monolgue by one acress, and there is not one boring phrase in the entire 90 minutes. Of course, it is not all about Palestine, much of what she writes about is what a very aware 24 year old girl would write about -- her family, their expectations,her school, and the society where she lives.

There is not much pure politics in the piece. Her only sentence is something akin "How can we equate a country with the fourth largest military in the world attacking people mostly armed with old rifles
trying to defend their homes and families?"

Her strength was her ability to write very poignantly about the Palestinian families that she stayed with, about their resiliency and their humour and their strength, and her personal experiences living with them. For example, about living in the back two rooms, because the zionist enterprise had shot up the front two rooms and they were unlivable. About the kids unconcernedly watching a children's program on TV while another round of shooting took place, and while she herself was cowering under a table. This made up a good part of the monologue, and was most effective .

It was a small theatre, 300 seats. But it was 95% full, and many performances were sold out.
The play was given a standing ovation.

Considering it ran for two months, that's 360 performances (forget the 2 matinees)x 300 = 108 000 impressed audience members.

Needless the say, the local jews had put two anti-Rachel and anti-Palestine adverts into the program, and they were also leafletting outside. Not many took their leaflets, and if they did, after a glance they were thrown away. And I don't think the two adverts had much impact. If they had, the play would not have received a standing ovation.
Thank you for this post.
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