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A Film by Hisham Zreiq
Assennara – 28-09-2007
by Furat Nassar
“I saw the soldiers as they entered the village … people became scared” … “they took him away and he never returned” … these eye-witness testimonies are a drop in an ocean of documented testimonies that are part of a new documentary film by the young producer from Eilaboon Mr. Hisham Zrake who decided to produce this film about the Eilaboun massacre.
During an interview with Assennara newspaper, Mr. Zrake said “My dad’s words and tears as he spoke the last time about the Eilaboun massacre is what compelled me to take this step”. The film relies on testimonies of local residents who lived in the village during that period of time and on the testimony of the Israeli historian Elan Pappe regarding the massacre.
Hisham continued to describe the emotions that he felt as he listened to stories about the massacre and how he got the idea to produce the film by saying “My dad asked me to document the testimonies of the village elders who witnessed the massacre, so I did that because the story that the film tells is a story that we all grew up with … The film tells the story of a people and the story of 531 villages
whose residents were driven out by force. The purpose of the film is to show Jewish people what really happened here and not to perpetuate hatred”.
The film was shown at the Nazareth Cultural Center, in cooperation with city hall. The film will also be shown at the Eilaboun Cultural Center, in cooperation with the local city council.
The Eilaboun Massacre – Oct 30, 1948
In 1948, the population of Eilaboun was 550 people. The village fell on 30/10/1948 when it was overrun by the seventh and ninth brigades of the occupation forces. On that day, the villagers were assembled and 14 young men were murdered. Among the martyrs was “Muhammad Khaled Assad” - originally from the village of Hitteen but took refuge in Eilaboun on 17/6/1948 when Hitteen itself was overrun. This martyr was buried in the cemetery plot of the Christian Zrake family. And just as life had united them as neighbors, they were now reunited by death in the same cemetery as Muslims and Christians.