interviewed by Samar Martha, January 2007

Tell me about yourself.

I was born in Jerusalem, but now I live in Ramallah. I studied in Lebanon and in the US. I have been working for the past ten years in development and research. I believe in the moving image, and the ability to communicate through film. I hope I will be able to do that through my work.

What is your short film from 2006, 'Security' Leak about?

The piece is part of a film collection of 13 short films, made by the Palestinian Filmmakers collective, to express the mood of summer 2006 in Palestine. The film is made in one take, and in less than three minutes (those were the rules set for this film collection).

The work is about trying to reach Jerusalem, a city that I cannot even visit, even though it is marked on my ID card as the place of birth. So I drove to the nearest possible place I could reach to Jerusalem behind the wall, Ayzarieh: the future capital of the Palestinian state, a city, which has been proposed by various peace initiatives as an alternative to East Jerusalem.

On the radio, one hears news that shows the paradox of being an Arab and/or Muslim these days. Of living behind a high wall, and being observed from behind it, or from underneath a blanket of suspicion, doubt and guilt that can slowly conceal anything and everything.

In the situation like Palestine what keeps you motivated? Art coming from Palestine is very politically charged, unavoidably, but do you see yourself working with that theme or will you consider dealing with other topics in the future? Being an artist is not an easy career. What made you choose this path and were you influenced by any of your peers? In other words, why did you become an artist?

I don't know if I am an artist and whether this is a career choice or not. I think that living here in Ramallah and Palestine, there's a need to express just because it is difficult to be constantly silent and silenced. I feel trapped and claustrophobic, and now I have the urge to channel these feelings somehow, and I think making art, is a way for me/us, to break off from these chains both the ones that are real, and the ones that we imagine or create for ourselves. I think that my feelings, and ideas are my own, however I am sure I am influenced by other people's work, more so on the surface than in the content, because we are all living in the same environment, we have the same experiences, and encounter the same objects/obstacles, however, we interpret and translate these experiences differently.

I also think that I don't want to be a passive recipient. I feel I've reached a stage, where I want to create things rather than just consume what is created by others.

Security Leak
, 02:05 min, 2006, video still
Courtesy of Palestine, Summer 2006 - a short Film Collection
Palestinian Filmmakers' Collective, Akka Films (Palestine /Switzerland)
and the artist