Wednesday, April 6, 2011

RIP Juliano Mer Khamis

Juliano Mer Khamis was killed after unknown assailants fired 5 bullets in his body on April 4th in front of the Freedom Theater in Jenin, which he founded back in 2006. He was in his car, next to his two year old son. [His wife is pregnant with twins.]

His documentary Arna's Children won the Tribeca Film Festival award. An interview published posthumously is found here.

Born to a Jewish mother and a Palestinian father, he proudly described himself as the impossible: one hundred percent Jewish, one hundred percent Palestinian.

Ramallah staged a demonstration for Juliano, pictures here.

Nathalie Handal wrote a beautiful, touching poignant tribute.

To Juliano Mer Khamis

This is to you
who came to us with the thirst of a river
This is to you
who delivered wings, then praise,
then a thousand hands on a stage
This is to you
who deafened conflict
like a wall of whispers
building a different nation
you lined them up—Fatima, Mohammad, Yasir, Sahar
said, departure starts the first place you create
the word has a way
the way a sign
the sign a heart
the heart a place
a place that places parts
into what can’t be disturbed
This is to you
who held a village on a whisper
whispers in a butterfly
your mother in a rose
your father everywhere trees grow
don’t follow the stray souls
don’t follow death
you’ve rehearsed it enough
all the plays that lie in between
here you gathered wounds and made a stage
gathered curtains and made a museum
here you took the distance away from eyes
the hard beating of drums away from ears
and you forced fire to burn elsewhere
This is to you
This is to your son
who will never forget the sound of 5 bullets
or the blood drowning the seat
but who will remember first how you played
This is to you who told us
to ask death questions
This is to you
This is to you
This is to you
who created freedom on a stage

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