|Ashraf Abu-elhaje, an actor (1996) in the theatre of Jenin refugee-camp. Ashraf leads a large group of fighters in the battle of Jenin 2002. Ashraf was killed by a rocket fired from a helicopter.
Last night I sat through the screening of a documentary called "Arna's Children". Arna was a Jewish woman, who moved to Jenin refugee camp in Palestine and there created a center for children. The screening was organized by the 'Palestine Solidarity Campaign' to mark the 60th Anniversary of Al-Nakba - the Palestinians "day of Catastrophe" when the state of Israel was illegally established on their land. The film is the work of Juliano Mer-Khamis, Arna's son and an actor. Through the creative arts and games, Arna tried to help the Palestinian children of the camp express their feelings of anger, frustration and helplessness as they see their houses demolished by Israeli tanks, their people murdered by Israeli soldiers.
Juliano created a theatre group as part of Arna's center for children which helped give a voice and meaning to the lives of Palestine's children. It also allowed them to dream of a better future. But living in Jenin camp, under the occupation and brutal oppression by the IDF, we follow their lives to see that they did not become actors, painters, teachers, doctors, whatever it was they dreamed of. Many grew up to become resistance fighters, two of them killed by the Israeli army during fights, one during a "suicide attack".