Voices of the Middle East and North Africa

Voices of the Middle East and North Africa – July 27, 2005

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In this week’s program, we will hear UC Berkeley History Professor Beshara Doumani in conversation with filmmaker Juliano Mer Khamis about his award-winning film, Arna’s Children, which he and Danniel Danniel co-directed.

Arna’s Children is an important and powerful documentary that follows the lives of several Palestinian children in the Jenin refugee camp from their childhood years in the early 1990’s to the second Intifada.

These children join a theater group established by Arna Mer Khamis, a progressive Jewish Israeli activist and sculptor. Years later, when they become teens, they are lined up again, this time as posters on a wall showing the pictures of Palestinian fighters who died around the time of the Battle for Jenin in 2002. Why did Yousif commit a suicide attack in Hadera? How did Ala become the leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade in Jenin? What happened to the other children?

In his conversation with Beshara Doumani, Juliano Mer Khamis – who is also Arna’s son – discusses many new and very moving details not contained in the film. For more information about this documentary and Arna Mer Khamis, please visit http://www.arna.info/Arna.

During the program, we will also listen to selections from Babylon Mood, a classic by the master Iraqi oud player the late Munir Bashir.