This is the story of a Palestinian family, Ismael Khatib, his wife Agla, and their son Achmed. The family lived in Jenin. 5 November, 2005, their twelve year old son Achmed was playing on the street with friends, he was shot by Israeli soldiers, who thought the toy-gun the children played with was the real deal. A bullet was lodged in his head. The boy was braindead. An Arab Israeli nurse, Raymond, discusses the subject of organ donation with Ismael. After consulting the mufti, and other important people in Jenin, Achmed´s parents agree to the donation.
Four children in Israel get a new lease of life as a result.
A story like in a movie. And it is a movie: a German-Israeli team have made a documentary, following three of the children as Ismael Khatib is visiting them. The documentary shows us these children two years later, living a new life, healthy and happy: Sameh, Mohammed and Menuha.
Mohammed, a Bedouin boy, cycles endlessly around his parent’s home. There is an immediate rapport with him, and Sameh the druse girl. Bonding with Menuha was a bit more difficult. Menuha is from a very strict orthodox Jewish family, and the father was on film in the hospital saying he had rather had a Jewish organ was being used. But he regretted saying that very much later. Menuha herself was, despite her shyness, open and interested in meeting Ismael. His main purpose was meeting the girl anyway, not the father. He is happy that some of Achmed is still living in these children, and he feels a bit closer to his dead son when he is with them.
Of course there is also the usual bigoted dislike from the nutters, naturally from both the Palestinians and the Israelis!
”How can you allow that Israeli children are rescued using the organs of your dead boy?”
Ishmael answered: ”Children are not my enemies, they carry no guilt”
Even more miffed were the Israelis, showing such greatness of heart doesn’t fit their picture of the Palestinians at all!
Ishmael himself has thrown molotof-coctails at military vehicles, and was put into jail 11 times himself, but he mused, ”This is more unpleasant to them, as if I was a terrorist.”
Ishmael, with help from the Italian town of Cuneo, whose citicens have scraped together the money, has set up a youthcenter in the refugee camp, so children have a safe place to play now. The centre is lead by Ishmael, the children come after school, and in the holidays. It is not all play, the children are being educated in a playful manner, using music, film and theatre. In the largest room, where the children learn Dabka, a Palestinian traditional dance, the children have painted an enormous red heart on the wall, in memory of Achmed. Agla also visits the centre regularly, it helps her in her grief to see Achmed’s friends.
Watch 48 minutes of a movie, a large part is about Jenin itself, I’m not clear, but I think this is a different movie, but made about the same subject.
We should not listen to the warmongers, religious bigots and selfish ”patriots”. We can change the world for the better! The world can change, by the decisions and actions of simple individuals. Who are not so simple in showing their greatness of heart and true humanity.