Film + Debate & Participants

The Iron Wall opened Middle East: What Can Cinema Do? Screened in tandem with our opening debate - the Israeli settlement of Palestinian land, we were honoured to receive Leila Shahid (EU Palestinian Delgate), Michel Warschawski (Israeli peace activist, journalist and  director of the AIC) and Dominique Vidal (Le Monde Diplomatique)  for this kick-off, along with director Mohammed Alatar.

Wednesday, November 21, 8:30pm
Opening film + panel
The Iron Wall by Mohammed Alatar

Leila Shahid: belongs to the great Palestinian al-Husayni clan of Jerusalem; she is a distant cousin of Faysal Husayni and Yasser Arafat. She joined the Fatah in 1968, represented Palestine in Ireland and in the Netherlands in the early 90's. She was the Palestinian representing delegate in France from 1994 to 2005. She now resides in Brussels, envoy of Palestine to the European Commission.

Dominique Vidal: studied philosophy and history and made his debut as a journalist in 1973; he contributed to, among others, the weekly "Révolution" and the daily "La Croix" and was on the faculty of the "Centre de formation des journalistes". He has been on the staff of "Le Monde diplomatique" since 1995. Historian and lecturer, he is the author of a dozen books, notably « Les cent clés du Proche-Orient » with Alain Gresh. An updated edition of his classic "Péché originel d'Israël", in collaboration with Sébastien Boussois, will be published in November 2007 under the title "Comment Israël expulsa les Palestiniens , 1947-1949".

Michel Warschawski: son of Rabbi Max Warschawski. Michel Warschawski lived in Strasburg as a child and left for Jerusalem at 16. In 1984, he founded the Alternative Information Center (AIC) which brings together several Israeli and Palestinian peace organisations. Warschawski defines himself as an anti-colonialist activist. He is the author of many books. Along with Leila Shahid and Dominique Vidal, he previously gave a series of lectures on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the French suburbs, which resulted in the book "Les banlieues, le Proche-Orient et nous".

Thursday, November 22, 8:30pm
Topic: Gaza
Gaza, Another Kind of Tears by Abdel Salam Shehada & Rafah, Chronicle of a City in the Gaza Strip by A; Monchavet & S. Marchetti

Jean-François Legrain : A research fellow  at CNRS (Centre National  de la Recherche Scientifique) J.F. Legrain was before associated with several research institutes in Cairo, Amman and Jerusalem. He taught at the Institut Catholique in Paris and the the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Lyon. He is at present a fellow of La maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée and is working on an investigation of those Palestinians who are the "elites" in the West Bank and Gaza.

Hassan Balawi : was born in Nablus in July 1965, completed his secondary studies in  Qatar and his university studies in France. He worked for the Information Department of the PLO in Tunis from 1991 to 1994, and wrote for the newspaper "Falestine-Al Thawra as well as other Arabic periodicals in Tunis and Paris. He returned to the Gaza Strip in 1995 and worked for the Information Ministry (in charge of the foreign press). He created the first French bulletin of the National Palestinian Authority and founded a French programme on Palestinian public television. He worked for PBC (Palestinian TV), in charge of French and Mediterranean – European audiovisual programs.  Up until May 2007, Hassan Balawi was a communications consultant attached to the Palestinian delegation in France and is currently in charge of the audiovisual archives for the Palestinian mission at UNESCO.

Friday, November 23, 8:30pm
Topic: Iraq
Ahlaam by Mohamed al Daradji

David Baran: is a scholar, consultant and frequent contributor to "Le Monde Diplomatique". He is the author of "Vivre la tyrannie et lui survivre l'Irak en transition" (2004).

Christian Chesnot: he was taken hostage with "Figaro" correspondent Georges Malbrunot in 2004 while reporting on the war in Iraq for "France Inter" radio station. Today he reports on the situation on Iraq from Paris. He co-authored with Malbrunot "Les années Saddam" and "Mémoires d'otages, notre contre enquête".

Saturday, November 24, 5:45 pm
Topic: Israel
Forgiveness by Udi Aloni

Alain Dieckhoff: a doctor in political   sociology and research fellow at « CNRS-CERI », he also teaches at the Paris Institut d'Etudes Politiques. His field is politics and contemporary society in Israel and the relationship between politics and religion.  He is the author of several books which have become classics, notably "L'invention d'une nation- Israël et la modernité politique" and "Les espaces d'Israël".

Christophe Boltanski: is a journalist at Liberation and an expert on the Middle East, Iraq and Israel. He co-authored with Eric Aeschiman "Chirac d'Arabie" in 2006 in which they speculated on the future of France's Arab policy.

Sunday, November 25, 3:30pm
Topic: Women in the Middle East
Badal by Ibtisam Marana

Israeli & Palestinian "directresses":
Itsibam Marana, Tamar Goldschmidt, Azza El-Hassan, Norma Marcos, Nadine Naous...

Françoise Germain-Robin: formerly a journalist with ORTF (French radio and television) and France Culture, she is at present reporter at large for l'Humanité where she writes frequently on Palestine and Israel, locations she has frequently visited. She published several interviews with Yasser Arafat.

Monday, November 26, 8:30pm
Topic: Lebanon
Après la guerre, c'est toujours la guerre by Samir Abdallah, world première

René Naba : correspondent for the AFP bureau in Beyrouth (1969 1979), then head of the Arab-Musulman department (1980 90) and consultant for RMC Middle East, (1989-1994). René Naba is the author of a number of works: « Aux Origines de la tragédie arabe », Editions Bachari 2006 ;  « Du Bougnoule au sauvageon, Voyage dans l'imaginaire français », Editions l'Harmattan 2002 ; « Rafic Hariri, Un homme d'affaires Premier ministre », Editions l'Harmattan 1999 ; « Guerre des Ondes, Guerre des Religions, La bataille hertzienne dans le ciel méditerranéen », Editions l'Harmattan 1998.

Christophe Ayad: A journalist specialised in the Arab world. Contributor to Liberation, Christophe Ayad was awarded the Albert Londres prize for his reports on Iraq, Dubai and Kenya. He was the Liberation correspondent in Cairo from 1994 to 2000.

Mardi 27 à 19h30
Topic : United We Stand
Closing Film: Knowledge is beginning de Paul Smaczny

Clôture à Reid Hall : 4, rue de Chevreuse Paris 6è
All the filmmakers present together

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