WE MOURN THE tragic and senseless assassination of the brilliant revolutionary filmmaker Juliano Mer-Khamis, who was gunned down April 4 in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. His documentary film “#8220;Arna’s children,” about his mother’s lifelong struggle and her work in founding the Jenin Freedom Theater, and the realities of life for Palestinian youth under occupation, is a masterpiece. The Freedom Theater is a priceless center for resistance as well as the healing of these young people.
Only 53 years old, Juliano’s life was devoted to carrying on the work of his mother Arna Mer at the Freedom Theater. She was an Israeli Jew and his father, Saliba Khamis, a Palestinian from Nazareth, where Juliano grew up. The identity and motivations of the killer are not yet established, but the Jenin Freedom Theater did not meet with approval from reactionary Islamists because it is co-educational and doesn’t conform to religious “#8220;norms.” Despite this shocking and irreplaceable loss, the supporters of the Jenin Freedom Theater are committed to its continuation (see www.thefreedomtheatre.org).
ATC 152, May-June 2011>