The Freedom Theatre
Jenin Refugee Camp, Occupied Palestine
March 12, 2013 For immediate release
Israel denies Arab artists permits to join the March Freedom Ride
Ahmed Galai Ezzar and Zeid Khemiri are two rappers from Armada Bizerta, a revolutionary hip-hop group from Tunisia. Khalid Albaih is a political cartoonist from the Sudan – his stencils about the Arab Revolutions have appeared on streets and public squares throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Sondos Shabayek and Mona El Shimi are two Egyptian theatre makers, well known for developing the Tahrir Monologues – a series of solo pieces about the Eygptian revolution.
Ahmed, Zeid, Khalid, Sondos and Mona were planning to join the March Freedom Ride, a grassroots initiative of The Freedom Theatre’s Freedom Bus.
In order to gain permission for these artists to enter the West Bank of Occupied Palestine, The Freedom Theatre was required to submit permit applications to the Palestinian Ministry of Civil Affairs.
On March 11, after months of waiting, The Freedom Theatre finally received notice that these applications had been denied by the Israeli Civil Administration.
Events such as this serve as yet another stark reminder about the humiliating system under which we live: That our own Palestinian Ministries must coordinate with, and obey Israel.
– Let us continue to fight for the day when our freedom will permit fellow poets, musicians, artists and writers to travel freely and unhindered to our historic homeland, says Alia Alrosan, coordinator for the Freedom Bus.
MARCH FREEDOM RIDE
From March 17-29, students, artists and activists from across Palestine and abroad will join the people of the Jordan Valley and South Hebron Hills in their struggle against Israel’s forced expulsion of Palestinian communities in Area C.
This ride, organized by The Freedom Theatre’s Freedom Bus together with several grassroots organizations, will occur in solidarity with Palestinian farmer and Bedouin communities who are struggling against attempts to forcibly expel them from their traditional homelands. The March Freedom Ride will include building and reconstruction work, protective presence activity, guided walks, home-stays, interactive workshops, educational talks and cultural events. Through Playback Theatre, residents of the Jordan Valley and South Hebron Hills will share personal accounts about the realities of life and resistance under settler colonialism, military occupation and state-sanctioned apartheid.
ABOUT THE FREEDOM BUS
The Freedom Bus project of The Freedom Theatre uses interactive theatre and cultural activism to bear witness, raise awareness and create alliances in Occupied Palestine. In practice, this project offers a unique opportunity for activists, artists, writers, photographers and many others to come together and establish grassroots contact with communities engaged in day-to-day struggle to survive and resist occupation. Over the past year, the Freedom Bus has engaged over 2000 people in creative acts of community building and cultural resistance throughout Occupied Palestine.
Alia Alrosan (Arabic speaking)
Ben Rivers (English speaking)