Using and abusing the Holocaust / the work of Khaled Mahameed

Posted: September 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: culture, guest post | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off
Mahameed giving a workshop in Askar Refugee camp

Mahameed giving a workshop in Askar Refugee camp

Harvey Stein is a filmmaker/journalist, originally from New York, who moved to Israel 3 years ago and now lives in Jerusalem. Harvey is working these days on a documentary called “Heart of the Other“, which follows the work of Khaled Mahameed. Just before Yom Kippur, he suggested writing something about it for Promised Land, and I was more than happy to agree, as I think that Mahameed’s is one of the most inspiring projects I’ve heard of in the last  years.

Besides working on “Heart of the Other,” Harvey has made short videos for Time magazine website, CNN, ABC, and other TV stations and websites in Europe and the United States. If you’d like to contact him, write me (my e-mail is in the “about” page), and I’ll forward your mail.

Since moving to Jerusalem from New York three years ago, I have been fortunate to spend considerable time with Khaled Mahameed (I’m making “Heart of the Other,” a documentary about his work, excerpts here: http://www.heartoftheother.com/trailer). Mahameed is a Palestinian-Israeli citizen who has gotten notice for his “Holocaust education” for Arabs – both at his tiny museum in Nazareth, and in villages, towns, and refugee camps in the West Bank.

Mahameed is a lawyer by trade, and a complex “intellectual in action” by nature. Since at least age 18 (when his Jewish tutor at Hebrew University responded to his request to study more about Nazi Germany with, “Why would an Arab want to do that?”) he has basically been obsessed with the Holocaust – unpacking its meaning and its effect on both Palestinians and Israelis, and their fraught relationship. Read the rest of this entry »