Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Watch this: Long Live us and Long Live Palestine in video

In the wake of the 2023 Gaza War, a surge of Arab and Palestinian artists took to the internet to express their solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza through their art. This outpouring of creative expression is not a new phenomenon for the Arab world.

Long Live us and Long Live Palestine "Omar Rammal"
Long Live Us and Long Live Palestine "Omar Rammal"

On the contrary, Palestine and the Palestinian resistance have long been a source of inspiration for artworks across various mediums, including painting, literature, poetry, cinema, and music.

This time arts found a bigger and quicker platform online. I wanted to share samples of those artworks. After all, it is important to share with the world what we say because it seems that the world does not see us as humans. 

Please watch this short film by Palestinian director Omar Rammal. It went viral on social media across the Arab world in the past few days.

It is called “Long Live Us, Long Live Palestine.”
And yes, there are whole younger generations of Palestinians that won’t forget nor forgive.

I love it because it changes that very old chant that actually came out of Egypt that says “We die so Egypt (any Arab country) lives”.

It was among the popular chants in the Arab world during the 20th century.

But then famous Iraqi poet Ahmed Matar wondered "We die so the homeland may live, but for whom does it live?" in his epic poem “Down with the homeland” {Yes, you read it right. It is one of the strongest modern Arabic poems supporting the freedom of Arab people against dictatorship and corruption in their countries}.

That verse became another inspiration for generations of Arabs who began to realize that their homeland and their countries needed them alive. Yes, they are ready to sacrifice themselves for freedom and independence, but now they must live so that their homeland and country can live.

Renowned Amman-based director and cinematographer Omar Rammel directed this beautiful clip.

The song or the anthem that a young Palestinian student sings while crying at the beginning of the film is the national anthem of Palestine “Fida’i”

The short film also includes a tribute to the famous Olive tree hugger.

The Tree Hugger by Omar Rammal

Here is the original shot. Already there were shots from several angles as well as a video report. 

The Palestinian Olive tree hugger
Mrs Mafouza Shtayyeh hugging her olive tree in her famous photo that became
another iconic photo representing Palestinian resistance "AFP"

The olive tree hugger is Mrs Mahfouza Shtayyeh from North Nablus’ village of Salim.

That shot, I believe, inspired legendary Palestinian painter Ismail Shammout before his passing in 2006. 

The Olive Tree Huggers by Palestinian Ismail Shammout
The Olive Tree Huggers by Palestinian Ismail Shammout 

Zionist Settlers are estimated to have destroyed more than 3,000 olive trees in the West Bank since 7 October, wiping out groves that had been passed on for generations as an ancestral inheritance. We are speaking not hundreds of years old olive trees but rather thousands of years old olive trees. 

The olive industry in the West Bank makes up 25% of the region's agricultural income and supports about 100,000 families according to the FAO. Olive oil production has been a vital part of the Palestinian economy for centuries. 

In the West Bank alone, there are or were over 8 million olive trees, covering an area of approximately 86,000 hectares before the Zionist settlers began their destruction campaign. 

Aside from its long-standing symbolism of peace, the olive tree has taken on an additional meaning for Palestinians since 1948. The olive tree's ability to endure harsh conditions and live for thousands of years has made it a powerful symbol of resistance and resilience for the Palestinian people.

Back to our short film and its talented director, Rammal has another short film about Palestine and the Israeli occupation that went viral in the Arab world two years ago.

“The Place” was screened during the May 2021 Gaza War.

It focused on the Zionist Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Rammal released it if  you remember following that mini-war started with the eviction of the Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem

“The Place is our existence”

And yes again I would like to remind you that there are whole younger generations of Palestinians that won’t forget nor forgive.

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