Zakaria Zubeidi, one of the founding members of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin and former commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, joined me today on CrossTalk. As a child in the 1980s, Zubeidi was part of the Jenin theater troupe that was the precursor to the Freedom Theatre. He was wounded and sent to jail during conflicts with the Israeli Army in the 1990s. At the beginning of the Second Intifada, Zubeidi became the commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a leading coalition of Palestinian militias in the West Bank. In 2007, the Israeli Government offered amnesty to the militants of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. Zubeidi now believes that armed resistance to the Israeli Occupation is fruitless, and has devoted his energies to the Freedom Theatre. However, Zubeidi stated that if Israel took violent action against Palestinians, he would be forced to take violent action.
To read a translation of the interview, click here
To Learn more about the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, visit http://www.cfr.org/publication/9127/
Hala Nassar is an assistant professor of Arabic and Arabic culture in the Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations Department at Yale University. She is primarily interested in Arab popular political culture, performance and literature. Ms. Nassar will join me on CrossTalk in the near future to speak about her book "Exile's Poet," which investigates the work and life of the Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish as well as her future work in Theater and modern Palestinian culture.
Juliano Mer Khamis is the General Director of the Freedom Theatre in the West Bank city of Jenin. Mr. Mer Khamis will join me in the near future on CrossTalk to discuss his professional and personal experiences working in the Israeli movie, TV, and theater industries, as well as his groundbreaking work on the Freedom Theatre, a project that aims to bring art and creativity to the youth of Jenin's Refugee Camp. This interview is the third in a mini-series on the activities and personalities of the Freedom Theatre.
Jonatan Stanczak, an Israeli / Swedish activist, joined me from Sweden over the telephone today on CrossTalk. Mr. Stanczak was one of the founding members of the Freedom Theatre in 2006, located in the West Bank city of Jenin. Mr. Stanczak currently serves as the Administrative and Financial Manager of the Freedom Theatre and splits his time between Sweden and Israel. His international citizenship has allowed him to travel freely throughout the West Bank while working with The Theatre. Mr. Stanczak was inspired to form the Freedom Theatre when he first witnessed the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank. He sees the Freedom Theatre as a form of Palestinian resistance to this Occupation.
Please visit www.thefreedomtheatre.org to learn more about the Theatre's work and mission.
Micah Hendler, a former music counselor at Seeds of Peace, joined me today on CrossTalk to discuss music and conflict, citing the Israeli Palestinian conflict as a case study. Micah spoke about his experience working in the music program at Seeds of Peace, a peace initiative which draws youth from Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan to engage in the individual process of conflict-resolution. We spoke about the role of music in shaping the future of peace and conflict, as well as the specific musical traditions of the Middle East.