FILM: A Man in Our House | Wed. Oct. 5th @ 6:30 p.m. | Olin LC 115

Film Series: Cairo Through Cinema

A Man in Our House

Wednesday October 5th at 6:30 p.m.

Olin LC 115

Directed by Henri Barakat
Egypt, 1961, 159mins
Arabic with English subtitles

Based on the famous novel by Ihsan Abdel Qoddous, this 1961 classic is set prior to the 1952 revolution and stars the legendary Omar Sharif in one of his most memorable roles. Sharif plays Ibrahim, a member of the underground resistance who seeks refuge from the so-called “political police” by taking shelter in the home of a civil servant and his family.

Directed by Henri Barakat, this film offers a vivid depiction of the Egyptian resistance to the British occupation and features some of Egypt’s finest filmmaking talents.


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A presentation by The Freedom Theatre | Thursday, October 20 · 7:00pm – 10:00pm | Olin Hall

The Freedom Theatre’s presentation will include a short video of several of The Freedom Theatre’s previous productions, including Animal Farm and Alice in Wonderland. The actors will then present sections of their latest production, devised from monologues they have written about their lives in the West Bank. Finally, there will be a talk-back with the company.

Sponsored by the Human Rights Project

The Freedom Theatre – a theatre and cultural centre in Jenin Refugee Camp – is developing the only professional venue for theatre and multimedia in the north of the West Bank in Occupied Palestine. Since it opened its doors in 2006, the organisation continues to grow, develop and expand, enabling the young generation in the area to develop new and important skills which will allow them to build a better future for themselves and for their society.

For more information on The Freedom Theatre, you can visit their website at:

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TALK: “Fishing for the Past: Mediated Memories in a Palestinian Refugee Gathering, South Lebanon” | Tuesday, September 20 · 7:00pm – 9:00pm | Olin 102

Middle Eastern Studies Speaker Series


Fishing for the Past: Mediated Memories in a Palestinian Refugee Gathering, South Lebanon

Tuesday, September 20 · 7:00pm – 9:00pm Olin 102

“Terrace of the Sea” was shot in 2008 in Jal el Bahar, an unofficial Palestinian Bedouin gathering established in 1948 on the outskirts of Tyre. Structured around a collection of family photographs taken over three generations, the film engages the historical experience of the Ibrahim family not simply or primarily through the prism of na…tionalist politics, but also through their relationship to work and to the physical environment in which they are living. With the political dimension decentered one becomes aware of overlapping attachments – in particular the tension between a love of home and the land on which it is built and the ties that continue to bind refugees to their country of origin. Rather than being a straightforward expository narrative, or an act of witness or political solidarity, the film reflects on the processes of memory, foregrounding the more provisional and subjective forms of recollection that have tended to be silenced or left unassimilated by a renascent nationalist history.

“Still Life” is the first sequence in a triptych of portraits that explores the mediations of memory among Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon. It considers how a series of photos brought to Lebanon by Said Otruk, an elderly Palestinian fisherman from Acre, mediate both his present experience and recollections of his life in Palestine before 1948. We see how the “reality” represented in these images has become conflated with them; Said repeatedly misremembers the number of his fishing boat and his age when he left, and when he describes photos of Acre’s waterfront as capturing the “golden age”, he seems to be gesturing as much at the splendid figure of his own youth as at the halcyon days of pre-48 Palestine. Rather than being an expository narrative, Still Life examines the dislocations of memory, the effects of aging and forgetfulness, and the recollection of youthful vitality.

Diana Allan is an anthropologist and filmmaker. She is the founder and co-director of the Nakba Archive, a testimonial project that has recorded interviews on film with first generation Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon, and the founder of Lens on Lebanon, a grassroots media initiative established during the 2006 Lebanon/Israel war. She is a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and a research affiliate at the American University of Beirut.

This event is co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program

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Wednesday, 3.9.11 | Documentary “Arna’s Children” | 6:30 p.m. in OLIN 102

Award Winning Documentary
*Arna’s Children*
Dir. Juliano Mer Khamis
Israel, 2004, 84mins
Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles

Arna Mer (1929-1995) led in the last years of her life a small theatre group of Palestinian children on the West Bank. Her son Juliano, who directed the group, used all those years his camera to film the rehearsals and performances of the plays. Arna Mer was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, an alternative Nobel Prize. Juliano Mer Khamis is the son of the Jewish Arna and an Arab father.

A few of the children in the theatre group are Yussef, Ashraf and A’lla. Through playing they try to cope with their memories of the refugee camp and daily reality. Arna plays an important role in the Jenin community through her dedication to the children. When the Israeli armies occupy the city, the theatre group rehearsals come to an end. But Arna won’t take it lying down. She establishes an alternative educational system to replace the formal one that was practically paralysed by the Israeli occupation.

After the death of his mother and years after the theatre has closed, Juliano looks up ‘Arna’s children’. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has escalated again and bloody bomb attacks are the order of the day. The building that once accommodated the theatre, has been bombed. Juliano himself in the meanwhile has become a famous actor and theatre director in Israel. Back in Jenin he discovers little by little the tragic story of the theatre children who were so dear to him: Ashraf was killed in the battle of Jenin by the Israeli army, Yussef committed a suicide attack in Hadera. A’lla leads a fighting troupe when Juliano meets him.

You can find a review of the film here.

Here is a Youtube clip of the documentary:

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