Sunday, November 2, 2014

Jewish Voice for Peace-Detroit
Barbara Harvey, Barbara Barefield, Julie Hurwitz and Bill Meyer
Invite you to a Fundraising Brunch in Detroit's Palmer Woods for

The Freedom Theatre (located in Jenin, Palestine)

Sunday, November 9 @ 11 AM

Enjoy live music with Bill Meyer on piano and Victor Ghannam on oud,
delicious food and Freedom Theatre presentation
Guests of honor
are Nabil Al Raee, the Freedom Theatre's artistic director and
Alia Al Rosan, a student in the acting school

The Freedom Theatre, the major cultural institution in the northern West Bank of Palestine, transcends occupation in its cultural resistance to it. Born in 2006 in an abandoned warehouse in Jenin, it has overcome the tragic murder (yet unsolved) of its co-founder Juliano Mer Khamis in April 2011 and is a fully fledged professional theatre. The Theatre mounts four-five major productions each year. It runs an acting school whose graduates have included Eyad Hourani, the co-star of the Oscar nominated film Omar, and a multimedia center that trains young people in videography, photography and creative writing. 

Its Freedom Bus project melds traditional Palestinian oral poetry with theater of the oppressed techniques to bring improvisational performance to communities of struggle throughout the West Bank and beyond. Its productions have toured Europe, South America, and the U.S. and will bring Suicide Note for Palestine to the renowned Public Theater in New York City in Fall 2015. 

The Freedom Theatre serves as a model of nonviolent resistance to the Occupation 
by providing hope, inspiration and creative opportunities.

Please RSVP for brunch and receive address to
private home in Detroit's Palmer Woods:
Barbara Harvey,
Barbara Barefield, 313-574-6847 or

Nabil Al-Raee was born and raised in Aroub Refugee Camp in the Hebron hills of Palestine. He grew up during the First Intifada, trying to go to school between shootings, tear gas and curfew. In the 90’s Nabil joined Theatre Day Productions – a theatre company in Hebron working mainly with children and youth, and training actors. He finished his professional training there, and began training others for the next two years, also working throughout the West Bank as a musician and actor. Nabil then studied and worked in theatre first in Tunisia, and then in Europe, before returning to Palestine in 2006.  At the invitation of Juliano Mer-Khamis, he joined the then-nascent Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp that Juliano had co-founded. There, he trained young actors and directed The Freedom Theatre’s first play “The Journey.” Following the success of the play, Nabil began full-time work at The Freedom Theatre, coordinating drama activities, and in 2009, became Director of their Theatre School, a professional theatre training program for young adults. After Juliano's murder in 2011, Nabil stepped in as artistic director of the theatre, determined that Juliano's work would continue. He has continued to build The Freedom Theatre towards its goal of being a leading artistic and political institution in Palestine and beyond.  Nabil spoke on a panel at the Kennedy Center this past March, discussing the themes of conflict, refugees and theater. 

Alia Alrosan lives in Nablus.  She was the coordinator for the Freedom Bus project, and then decided to train as an actor. The Freedom Bus, is an initiative that uses interactive theatre and cultural activism to bear witness, raise awareness and build alliances throughout occupied Palestine and beyond. During Freedom Bus events, Palestinian actors and musicians invite true stories from rural communities across Palestine and subsequently transform each account into a piece of improvised theatre. Alia says that under occupation “our spirit has shrunk. But theater makes us appreciate life. Being really alive means making decisions about your life. I believe in humanity. I refuse to say that occupation is my only reality. This is the first time in my life I feel like I’m in the right place for me and my people.”

Other opportunities to learn about and 
support the Freedom Theatre

Saturday, Nov. 8, 5-7 pm
Arab American National Museum
13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn

presented by OneHamtramck and endorsed by Jewish Voice for Peace
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9 afternoon/evening events
at the Kabob House 11405 Conant, Hamtramck 48212  (see attached flier)
RESERVATIONS REQUESTED (313-207-3904) (in the restaurant)

5 PM PRESENTATION: Palestinian guests include Freedom Theater Artistic Director, Nabil Al-Raee; and actress and Freedom Bus coordinator, Alia Alrosan

7 PM FILM: ARNA’S CHILDREN  (2004 – Palestine – 84 min – dir. Juliano Mer Khamis)
A powerful testament to humanity by filmmaker/actor and former artistic director of The Jenin Freedom Theater, the late Juliano Mer Khamis. His mother, Arna, a Jewish activist against the Israeli occupation, founded this alternative education system for Palestinian children. ARNA’S CHILDREN is one of the most poignant and emotionally powerful films made about the Palestinian struggle, overcoming cultural and ethnic boundaries, racial stereotypes and the threat of hopelessness in the eye of the Occupation. DISCUSSION WILL FOLLOW. Donations will be accepted for The Freedom Theater