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

Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Invisible Epidemic: Radiation and Rising Rates of Thyroid Cancer
Andre Vltchek
Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder
Jack Smith
Obama Readies to Fight in Libya, Again
Robert Fantina
As Goes Iowa, So Goes the Nation?
Dean Baker
Market Turmoil, the Fed and the Presidential Election
John Wight
Who Was Cecil Rhodes?
David Macaray
Will There Ever Be Anyone Better Than Bernie Sanders?
Christopher Brauchli
Suffer Little Children: From Brazil to Flint
JP Sottile
Did Fox News Help the GOP Establishment Get Its Groove Back?
Binoy Kampmark
Legalizing Cruelties: the Australian High Court and Indefinite Offshore Detention
John Feffer
Wrestling With Iran
Rob Prince – Ibrahim Kazerooni
Syria Again
Louisa Willcox
Park Service Finally Stands Up for Grizzlies and Us
Farzana Versey
Of Beyoncé, Trudeau and Culture Predators
Pete Dolack
Fanaticism and Fantasy Drive Purported TPP ‘Benefits’
Murray Dobbin
Canada and the TPP
Steve Horn
Army of Lobbyists Push LNG Exports, Methane Hydrates, Coal in Senate Energy Bill
Colin Todhunter
“Lies, Lies and More Lies” – GMOs, Poisoned Agriculture and Toxic Rants
Franklin Lamb
ISIS Erasing Our Cultural Heritage in Syria
David Mihalyfy
#realacademicbios Deserve Real Reform
Graham Peebles
Unjust and Dysfunctional: Asylum in the UK
John Grant
Israel Moves to Check Its Artists
Yves Engler
On Unions and Class Struggle
Alfredo Lopez
The ‘Bern’ and the Internet
Missy Comley Beattie
Super Propaganda
Ed Rampell
Great Caesar’s Ghost!: A Specter Haunts Hollywood in the Coen’s Anti-Anti-Commie Goofball Comedy
Cesar Chelala
The Public Health Impact of Domestic Violence
Ron Jacobs
Cold Weather Comforts of a Certain Sort
Charles Komanoff
On the Passing of the Jefferson Airplane
Charles R. Larson
Can One Survive the Holocaust?
David Yearsley
Reading Room Blues
February 04, 2016
Scott McLarty
Political Revolution and the Third-Party Imperative
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail