Monday, April 4, 2011

Death of an Artist: Juliano Mer- Khamis

Playwright, Filmmaker, Peace Activist, and Community Builder Assassinated outside his Theater today in Jenin.

This is awful. I met this man when I went to his play, Alice, at the Freedom Theater. He was kind to strangers, offered me food and spoke at length with me even though it was a busy day for him and he had never seen me before. He calmed a theater full of 500 children easily and spoke gregariously to them, making sure they knew the performance was for them and that they could be heroes if they tried.

He was a mover in his community and worked to give people some color in Jenin Refugee Camp. He does the same work the people and compatriots I respect most do in many other countries in the world, and he was shot dead for it. He had a beautiful baby boy and another child on the way. Rest in Peace.

To the venomous, to the angry, to the oppressed: If you're going to harm someone, spare the artists. Aim for the greedy that oppress you, not those trying to bring life, toiling in your midst.

I recently discovered this video featuring an interview with Juliano, sadly it's exactly the kind of film I came to Palestine to help encourage: It highlights an exciting program and the people behind it, while showing us a little about the lives of the people here, their hopes, aspirations, and humanity.

1 comment:

Elaine said...

Ugh. This is awful.

This world can produce so much cruelty and hate. It can also give rise to beauty, most often from people like Mer-Khamis.

May the artists of the world continue to create beauty in the context of tragedy and conflict.

I'm so, so sorry.