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VIBES – Palestine in the Eyes of Toronto with Dania Majid

Jerusalem24 – Our guest for today’s episode is joining us all the way from Canada. Dania Majid, the artistic director of Toronto Palestine film festival. This year, the name is specifically dedicated to raise the name of Palestine in places that it wasn’t normally raised in. The festival is inclusive to all ages from all backgrounds and nationalities. As its targeting Arabs, non-Arabs, Palestinians and non-Palestinians as well as its collaboration with a lot of organizations. This way, the festival adds to the international community and the Canadian one in specific. Considering the fact that in Canada, it’s very rare to hear anything about Palestine unless it appears on the news. Yet, when it comes up, it’s never our perspective. Therefore, the festival comes as a tool to let Palestinian take control of their narrative by sharing Palestinian dreams, accomplishments, and stories told by Palestinians themselves.

Toronto Palestine film festival contains around 25 films every year. Films created by Palestinians from the homeland and in the diaspora. Also, it offers other events like showcase music, Dabkeh, Arab food vendors and local Arab businesses with a big Party at the end. In addition, plenty of Panels and workshops were set at the festival. For the young audience, Tatreez workshops and panels about the role of art in activism were arranged. However, what’s really different this year is that the festival has a virtual art show, where artists could talk and elaborate on different topics related to Palestine. For instance, this year, the Jerusalemite artist, Suliman Mansour, provided history of Palestinian art from early ages until now, featuring his works and other artist’s works.

Despite the pandemic restrictive laws, the interaction and the outcomes of the festival were genuinely “heartwarming”. For it being the very first in-person festival ever since then.

Mona Hijjawi

Editor/Presenter Graduated from The Arab Academy for Science Technology and Maritime Transport in Cairo, BA in Translation and Mass Communication. Currently Ramallah based Journalist and presenter at Jerusalem24.

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