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A Film by Hisham Zreiq
The Aswar Foundation hosts the film “Sons of Eilaboun”
On the sixtieth anniversary of the Nakba, the Aswar Foundation hosts the film “Sons of Eilaboun” and its director.
A documentary film, a poetic verse, a historical lecture and commentary to commemorate the Nakba
Akka – Tafaneen
Under the auspices of the Aswar Foundation for Social and Cultural Development, a very important and historical symposium was held on Tuesday, Oct 9, at the “Al-Lazz – Mazen Ghattas Theater” in Acre, to honor Mr. Hisham Zreiq (Zrake) and his documentary film “sons of Eilaboun”.
The symposium was directed by Mr. Boutrus Dallih (member, board of directors) with participation by Dr. Souheil Miaari and Mr. Elyas Srour.
Following the screening of the documentary film “Sons of Eilaboun”, the audience met with Hisham Zreiq (Zrake) - the film director – before his return to Germany. The poet Hanna Ibrahim recited a poem that he wrote for this occasion.
Author Yacoub Hijazi, head of the Aswar Foundation, declared that this symposium is being held as we approach the sixtieth anniversary of the Nakba and comes to supplement the Palestinian Cultural Conference and serve as a starting point for a series of quality activities that are designed to affirm the Palestinian People’s inalienable rights to freedom, return and peace in spite of the massacres and the policy of denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian People. This program which brings together poetry, historical research and documentary films reflects the hope to continue the struggle for recovering these rights.
The story of the massacre!
During an interview with the Palestinian news service “Wafa”, the young movie director Hisham Zreiq (Zrake) said that he wanted to tell, through his short documentary film “The Sons Of Eilaboun”, the story of a small Palestinian village which happens to be the village of his own family.
The film details the massacre at the village of Eilaboun, located in the central Galil area inside the 1948 territories, and the accompanying events that lead to the martyrdom of a number of villagers who were initially asked by the occupation forces to follow them to different locations within the villages where they were promptly killed.
Zreiq (Zrake) explained that, by writing and directing the film, he wanted to tell the story of a Palestinian village that in a way represents the 531 villages that Israel demolished and forced its residents to leave their homes then claim that the people of these villages left them on their own.
He added that, even today and after 50 years since the massacre, his own father has difficulties recalling the memories of those events without becoming very emotional and unable to control his tears; not because he lost his own brother but also because he along with all his village people became refugees and were forced to take shelter in neighboring villages. They could hardly recognize their village when they returned to it because the occupying soldiers stole everything of value and destroyed whatever they could not take with them.
Zreiq (Zrake) is a member of the third generation of villagers since the Nakba year, and he currently resides with his family in Nazareth.
The film was screened last week for the first time in Nazareth, at the Municipal Cultural Center. In attendance were the film director and his family, the Mayor Mr. Ramez Garaysi and MK Hanna Souweid – himself a son of Eilaboun.
In his congratulatory comments about the film, Mr. Garaysi said that this was an important step towards presenting the Palestinian narrative and all the pain that it encompasses, to counteract the Israeli narrative that contradicts the claims of the indigenous people.
MK Hanna Souweid greeted his fellow villager and pointed to two documentary books about the massacre that were published when he served as the head of the local Eilaboun council. He also reaffirmed the importance of making the film and its message.