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Fadia’s Tree: Dreaming of A Denied Homeland & Existence

Jerusalem24 – Moved by a denied homeland, and a challenge set by her Palestinian friend to find what’s remaining of her family’s existence, Sarah Beddington, British visual artist, and filmmaker, embarks on a quest to find “Fadia’s Tree”.

Fadia Loubani, a Palestinian refugee living in Burj Al-Barajneh camp in Lebanon, meets director Sarah by chance in 2005, and Fadia talks to her about a perennial mulberry tree next to her grandfather’s house, which was abandoned due to 1948 Nakbeh.

Sarah’s search for a mulberry tree in the village of “Sasa'”, lasted for 15 years, during which she documented all stages of communication with Fadia, which included Lebanon, Palestine, and the United Kingdom.

Spanning fifteen years, this story of a friendship that stayed connected across a divided land and a fragmented people adopts a birds’ eye perspective to reflect on freedom of movement, exile, and the hope of return.

Sarah said in an interview with Jerusalem24, “along the way, I learned that the region is also one of the world’s busiest superhighways for bird migration. And it is the observations of the ornithologists, on the homing instincts of these millions of birds, that inadvertently reveal key elements of the Palestinian refugee situation,”.

She adds that “Fadia’s Tree”, and its message shed light on the injustice suffered by the 5 million Palestinian refugees who have been displaced for 74 years, and who are still waiting for their right as refugees to return to their homes. from which they fled. Biddington also noted that the film’s premiere was in Palestine, during the Film Days Festival in December 2021, and is arranging with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation for a series of shows in cities and camps in the occupied territories during this year.

“Fadia’s Tree” has won the “Amnesty International” Award for Best Feature Film at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain 2021. And the “Best Documentary” in the Karama Feather Award 2021.

Nadeen Alshaer

Alshaer is a Palestinian journalist, a Birzeit University graduate with a B.A. in TV and Radio Broadcasting Journalism. Alshaer has 6 years of experience in journalism. She currently works as a reporter, editor and presenter/producer for PBC-Palestine TV and Jerusalem24 radio. She’s a UN and Kelley School of Business alumna.

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