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5 broken Cameras

I finally watched it, I am ashamed to say, with all the opportunities I have had.
Muslims wherever they are, whether in the Philippines or in Palestine are close to my heart. So I ask myself if I am truly truthful, what have I done for them?

As Muslims we are told to be like a singular body, the Prophet saw. said:

“The similitude of a believer in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of a body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever.”

So what if you were able to remove the pain somehow, or at least help to lessen it, wouldn’t you do whatever is necessary to relieve yourself of the pain? Wouldn’t you do whatever comes to your mind, even old house remedies, to reduce the sleeplessness and fever?

I ask myself, what have I done to relieve the aches in any of my limbs ? At this moment in time I’m asleep, I have forgotten the pain. I let it become worse and didn’t seek out any help, even though it was offered to me.

I have seen many clips and documentaries on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict before, but 5 broken cameras is different. Different in that it gives us a view of the normal life of a family in Bil’in. We witness how the son (Gibreel) of the film-maker (Emad Burnat ) grows up, one of his first words being “wall” and “army”.

One of the most saddening parts of the film is when Gibreel (4 at the time) asks, “Daddy, why don’t you kill the soldiers with a knife?”. Emad tells us, “We all lose our childhood at one point.” We gain an insight into life in the village and their struggle through his lenses.

These are my brothers and sisters in Islam, Jibreel is just around a year older than my own little sister. I felt like crying at the loss of his innocence. I can’t imagine how hard it must be as a father to live through that and teach your child what it means to live and die.

Imagine your own brother, your sister, someone you feel close to, only know the inside of a cage. A cage which over the years continues to shrink more and more.

Whereas seeing the sea, is nothing special for us. Freedom, something we take for granted. We are not being killed or shot at by soldiers for trying to lay a claim on what is ours. We aren’t beaten up by settlers taking our land.

“Clinging to non-violent ideals is not easy, when death is all around you”, Emad tells us in his monotone voice, “When someone dies anger grows”. Especially when that someone is close to you, like Bessam Abu Rahmeh was to him.

“So I film to heal…It helps me to confront life.”

The film won a Sundance film festival award and was also nominated for an Oscar (Mar 2013).  I have a lot of respect for him and the Palestinian people in general. 

May Allah swt. give them strength,  an end to this struggle and Jannatul Firdaws to the martyrs.

May Allah swt. give me the strength and courage to stop being just a once in a while slacktivist and do something for change however small it is.


Wa Salam,


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