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The Heart of Jenin

“The Heart of Jenin”, by Leon Geller and Marcus Vetter

Screened on 16 September 2009

Runtime: 90′

When a 12-year-old Palestinian boy was killed in the West Bank city of Jenin by Israeli soldiers who mistook his toy gun for the real thing, it could have been just one more blip on the news: one more war, one more child, one more human tragedy that ripped the heart out of a family and a community, but rippled no further into the world’s consciousness. But Ahmed Khatib’s tragic death unexpectedly turned into a gift of hope for five Israelis whose lives were on the line: while overwhelmed with grief, Ahmed’s parents consented to donate their son’s organs. Suddenly, amid the violence and entrenched hatred surrounding an intractable conflict, a simple act of humanity rose above the clamour and captured worldwide attention.

The film was followed by a debate with Fakhri Hamad (Project Manager Cinema Jenin) and Matthias Burchard (Head of the UNRWA Representative Office in Brussels and Geneva).

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