FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Juliano, One Year Later

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:
Weekend Edition
July 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Atwood
Peace or Armageddon: Take Your Pick
Paul Street
No Liberal Rallies Yet for the Children of Yemen
Nick Pemberton
The Bipartisan War on Central and South American Women
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Are You Putin Me On?
Andrew Levine
Sovereignty: What Is It Good For? 
Brian Cloughley
The Trump/NATO Debacle and the Profit Motive
David Rosen
Trump’s Supreme Pick Escalates America’s War on Sex 
Melvin Goodman
Montenegro and the “Manchurian Candidate”
Salvador   Rangel
“These Are Not Our Kids”: The Racial Capitalism of Caging Children at the Border
Louis Proyect
Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders and the Dilemmas of the Left
Patrick Cockburn
Iraqi Protests: “Bad Government, Bad Roads, Bad Weather, Bad People”
Robert Fantina
Has It Really Come to This?
Russell Mokhiber
Kristin Lawless on the Corporate Takeover of the American Kitchen
Patrick Bobilin
In Your Period Piece, I Would be the Help
Ramzy Baroud
The Massacre of Inn Din: How Rohingya Are Lynched and Held Responsible
Robert Fisk
How Weapons Made in Bosnia Fueled Syria’s Bleak Civil War
Gary Leupp
Trump’s Helsinki Press Conference and Public Disgrace
Josh Hoxie
Our Missing $10 Trillion
Martha Rosenberg
Pharma “Screening” Is a Ploy to Seize More Patients
Basav Sen
Brett Kavanaugh Would be a Disaster for the Climate
David Lau
The Origins of Local AFT 4400: a Profile of Julie Olsen Edwards
Rohullah Naderi
The Elusive Pursuit of Peace by Afghanistan
John Laforge
18 Protesters Cut Into German Air Base to Protest US Nuclear Weapons Deployment
Christopher Brauchli
Trump and the Swedish Question
Chia-Chia Wang
Local Police Shouldn’t Collaborate With ICE
Paul Lyons
YouTube’s Content ID – A Case Study
Jill Richardson
Soon You Won’t be Able to Use Food Stamps at Farmers’ Markets, But That’s Not the Half of It
Thomas Knapp
Elections: More than Half of Americans Believe Fairy Tales are Real
Ralph Nader
Warner Slack—Doctor for the People Forever
Lee Ballinger
Soccer, Baseball and Immigration
Louis Yako
Celebrating the Wounds of Exile with Poetry
Ron Jacobs
Working Class Fiction—Not Just Surplus Value
Perry Hoberman
You Can’t Vote Out Fascism… You Have to Drive It From Power!
Robert Koehler
Guns and Racism, on the Rocks
Justin Anderson
Elon Musk vs. the Media
Graham Peebles
A Time of Hope for Ethiopia
Martin Billheimer
Childhood, Ferocious Sleep
Tom Clark
Gameplanning the Patriotic Retributive Attack on Montenegro
July 19, 2018
Rajai R. Masri
The West’s Potential Symbiotic Contributions to Freeing a Closed Muslim Mind
Jennifer Matsui
The Blue Pill Presidency
Ryan LaMothe
The Moral and Spiritual Bankruptcy of White Evangelicals
Paul Tritschler
Negative Capability: a Force for Change?
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: ‘Social Dialogue’ Reform Frustrations
Rev. William Alberts
A Well-Kept United Methodist Church Secret
Raouf Halaby
Joseph Harsch, Robert Fisk, Franklin Lamb: Three of the Very Best
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail