HWB’s annual gathering at the Cinematheque is a special event for our volunteers. All year round, we transport Palestinian children from the checkpoints to the hospitals and back, but this evening, we get together to have a drink and a bite to eat, to mingle and chat, and to watch a movie.
This year’s reunion, on the 27th of February 2020, was particularly successful. First of all, name buttons were prepared for all the participants. After all, we usually drive on our own, and do not get to see our fellow volunteers.
For me personally it allowed me to meet and thank some of the people behind-the-scenes, like Amy, Eyal, and Michal, whose names pop up in the WhatsApp group. They are the ones who, day and night, organize the shuttles, answer questions, close gaps, and find solutions.
As has become the tradition, after the social gathering we watched a documentary. This time “The Hurdle”, a movie about two young Palestinian men, Sammy from the Old City, coach of the Jerusalem Parkour Team, and Muhammad from Bethlehem, who teaches filmmaking and storytelling to children. The movie focuses on their attitudes towards the occupation, and their efforts to empower youth who have dropped out of society.
The film was sad, difficult, challenging, too long, and provoked considerable of criticism and questions, and even anger, amongst members of the audience. Different opinions were voiced on how the occupation should be presented. Eventually it was Tuvia who was able to soften the mood, by stating that this movie simply portrays the conflict from the point of view of these two people. That’s all there is to it.
With many thanks to the organizers of the evening, Maayan, Alona and Ayala. Thank you for the opportunity to meet and thank you for the opportunity to deal with unsettling images, that show the specific ways of coping of some of our Palestinian neighbors.