“Sleepless in Gaza…and Jerusalem”
by S. Abdallah Schleifer
On March 1st — this coming Monday — the premier episode of a 90 part series, “Sleepless in Gaza…and Jerusalem” will be launched on YouTube. It will be a video diary about four young Palestinian women, Muslim and Christian, two living in Gaza and two in Arab Jerusalem/West Bank.
PINA TV Production camera crews will be covering Ashira Ramadan, a broadcast journalist based in Jerusalem; Ashira’s friend in Gaza, the documentary film maker Nagham Mohanna; Donna Maria Mattas, a 17 year-old student at the Holy Family school in Gaza who dreams of growing up to be a journalist, and Ala’ Khayo Mkari who works with Caritas in Jerusalem.
The intention of this series is neither rant nor rhetoric. It is rather an opportunity for all of us, who do not live in Gaza, occupied Arab Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, to grasp how these four young Palestinian women live out their daily lives, precisely because their lives are stories we journalists were taught almost dismissively to think of as “human interest” and almost necessarily conflict driven.
How, as human beings, these four Palestinians can also experience moments of personal and community achievement, and the warmth of friends and family life that in real life is possible even in the most difficult circumstances of siege and occupation.
Each episode runs 26 minutes and will be shot in Jerusalem/West Bank and Gaza, edited and uploaded the same day. So you will find a new sequence six days a week at ( http://www.youtube.com/SleeplessinGaza ). On Friday, we all rest.
A “Sleepless…” trailer should be up on YouTube today. We also have just set up “Sleepless in Gaza…and Jerusalem” on Facebook. It’s got such a long URL that Facebookers should note — just type in “Sleepless in Gaza…and Jerusalem” in the Facebook search and you will be home. We don’t have our own domain website yet, but our partners PINA TV Productions’ website will serve as such for the time being at ( http://www.pina.ps ).
Please pass this announcement on to your friends on email and to organizations that believe in peace on earth and good will to all, that they too might spread the word.
S. Abdallah Schleifer is Distinguished Professor, Department of Journalism & Mass Com, The American University in Cairo