FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Juliano, One Year Later

by JEN MARLOWE

One year ago today, as I sat on a bus heading from New York to Philadelphia, in the middle of my book tour for The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker, my cell phone rang. It was my friend Yousef Munayyer. I assumed he was calling about the book reading we were organizing a few days later at the Jerusalem Fund/Palestine Center.

But Yousef was calling to let me know about what he was seeing unfold on the ticker of an Arabic news site. An Israeli theatre director had just been shot and killed in Jenin Refugee Camp in the West Bank, the ticker said. There was no name yet. And it had not yet hit the Hebrew or English press. I didn’t need the name to know. It was Juliano Mer-Khamis, co-founder of The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp. There was no one else it could have been.

First response, as my first response always is: Try to get more information. Figure out who needs to be told, what needs to be done.

When the emotions came, they were as complex as my feelings about Juliano. It would be an overstatement to call him a friend, though I had socialized with him on many occassions. It didn’t feel accurate to call him a colleague, though I had worked with him for years on the board of the US based Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre. I respected Juliano greatly, and admired him deeply—though I don’t think I ever communicated that to him. But he also frustrated and alarmed me at times. In fact, the last time I saw Juliano, my co-board members and I argued with him for hours. I left The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp the following morning with a sense of impending doom. I had no idea, however, that the doom would take the form three months later of a masked assailant pumping bullets at close range into Juliano’s head and chest outside the theatre.

One year later, and Juliano’s murderer has not been apprehended.

One year later, and Juliano’s colleagues and students at The Freedom Theatre are still dealing with the loss and the trauma, including the continued trauma of being targeted by the Israeli military in repeated attacks against the theatre and its staff and students.

Yet one year later, remarkably, The Freedom Theatre continues. And continues to use art as a powerful form of protest and resistance.

I hope you will take a moment to remember (or learn about) Juliano.

I hope you will find ways to support and stand in solidarity with the courageous staff and students of The Freedom Theatre.

In a video I made for The Freedom Theatre, Juliano says: “At the end, there’s a feeling that the spirit is here—it’s already seeded. And it’s going to only grow. And I don’t believe that someone, or anyone, can stop it.”

It was exactly that spirit that the still-unknown assailant was trying to destroy when he stepped out of the shadows, pumped Juliano full of lead, and then disappeared back into the alleys of the refugee camp.

The assailant did not succeed. And more than ever, we must work for the spirit of freedom and artistic resistance that Juliano seeded so passionately, to continue to grow.

JEN MARLOWE is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, author, playwright, human rights advocate, and founder of donkeysaddle projects. Her new book, The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker, co-written with and about Palestinian peace activist Sami Al Jundi, has just been published by Nation Books. Her previous book was Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival. Her email address is: jenmarlowe@hotmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 31, 2016
NEVE GORDON - NICOLA PERUGINI
Human Shields as Preemptive Legal Defense for Killing Civilians
Jim Kavanagh
Turkey Invades Syria, America Spins The Bottle
Dave Lindorff
Ukraine and the Dumbed-Down New York Times Columnist
Pepe Escobar
Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, a Woman of Honor, Confronts Senate of Scoundrels
Jeff Mackler
Playing the Lesser Evil Game to the Hilt
Steve Horn
Dakota Access Pipeline Tribal Liaison Formerly Worked For Agency Issuing Permit
Patrick Cockburn
Has Turkey Overplayed Its Hand in Syria?
John Chuckman
Why Hillary is the Perfect Person to Secure Obama’s Legacy
Manuel E. Yepe
The New Cold War Between the US and China
Stephen Cooper
Ending California’s Machinery of Death
Stacy Keltner - Ashley McFarland
Women, Party Politics, and the Power of the Naked Body
Hiroyuki Hamada - Ikuko Isa
A Letter from Takae, Okinawa
Aidan O'Brien
How Did Syria and the Rest Do in the Olympics?
David Swanson
Arms Dealing Is Subject of Hollywood Comedy
Jesse Jackson
The Politics of Bigotry: Trump and the Black Voter
August 30, 2016
Russell Mokhiber
Matt Funiciello and the Giant Sucking Sound Coming Off Lake Champlain
Mike Whitney
Three Cheers for Kaepernick: Is Sitting During the National Anthem an Acceptable Form of Protest?
Alice Bach
Sorrow and Grace in Palestine
Sam Husseini
Why We Should All Remain Seated: the Anti-Muslim Origins of “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Richard Moser
Transformative Movement Culture and the Inside/Outside Strategy: Do We Want to Win the Argument or Build the Movement?
Nozomi Hayase
Pathology, Incorporated: the Facade of American Democracy
David Swanson
Fredric Jameson’s War Machine
Jan Oberg
How Did the West Survive a Much Stronger Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact?
Linda Gunter
The Racism of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima Bombings
Dmitry Kovalevich
In Ukraine: Independence From the People
Omar Kassem
Turkey Breaks Out in Jarablus as Fear and Loathing Grip Europe
George Wuerthner
A Birthday Gift to the National Parks: the Maine Woods National Monument
Logan Glitterbomb
Indigenous Property Rights and the Dakota Access Pipeline
National Lawyers Guild
Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against Dakota Access Pipeline
Paul Messersmith-Glavin
100 in Anarchist Years
August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail