Khaled Jarrar: Good Morning Occupation

This text is taken from the FB page of film director and visual artist, Palestinian Khaled Jarrar, whose documentary “Infiltrators” has been reviewed on this site, as well as his visual happenings. This scary, visually strong written report comes from his private life. It is his photo, more on his FB page:

I woke up around 2 this morning to the deafening sound of soldiers in my neighborhood. I went to the window and the (not so) shocking scene of 40 Israeli soldiers were outside, haphazardly breaking into houses. They shifted course and I found them walking toward my street – 20 meters away. What do I do? I thought. As they got closer to my building, I could feel the growing fear build up inside of me, which conflicted with my sense of relief that at least my children weren’t home that night – a small consolation. 
Before I knew it their heavy boots were trying to kick down the door downstairs. The sound of shattered glass shattered the silence of the calm night – which up until minutes before, families and students laid in the safety of their beds, quietly dreaming of something better than the scene before me. I called the Palestinian police hoping they could intervene or help, but I seemed to have wasted my call credit. “You live in Area B,” the dispatcher said over the phone. “We can’t do anything about it.” I played with that idea a moment in my mind – Area B. As opposed to what alternative? Area D? I’ll take that, it’s probably better than whatever this fake designation was.The sound became louder and my anxiety grew more intense when I heard the sound of something small and metallic bounce around the stairwell. Moments later I smelled teargas and ran to the bathroom, the farthest point in my apartment from the stairwell, and tried to wait it out. I put towels everywhere trying to prevent the gas from infiltrating the cracks, but it was pointless. My throat began to dry and burn and I couldn’t see from the amount of tears overflowing in my eyes and down my cheeks. Maybe they thought they could smoke me out, but what sane person would come out voluntarily to a military mob hungry for brutality? It seemed after awhile they had given up trying to break in and moved onto the next innocent target.
 Although they seemed to leave the building, I could still hear them in the neighborhood – so I sat in the bathroom waiting it out. After an hour or so in that state, I finally heard them leave – or at least leave my neighborhood. I opened the door slowly and the tear gas assaulted me. With a towel around my face, I ran toward the windows and opened them, hoping to air out the suffocating gas. 
I made my way downstairs to check on the neighbor, who was in a similar state. I walked outside to check on the other neighbors and it seemed the soldiers were looking for Birzeit University students. Those they found, they arrested in the freezing cold night. Those they didn’t were given orders: surrender to military intelligence tomorrow morning at 9. Good morning occupation. Thanks for Tamara for helping me with the English.


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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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