Yasmina Reality

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Oscar Nominated Palestinian Film, Omar

Oscar Nominated Palestinian Film, Omar

By on March 4, 2014 in Uncategorized


Last year it was 5 Broken Cameras.  This year, it’s Omar.  Palestinian films that offer a glimpse into the pain and humilation of occupation are being nominated at the Oscars.  Palestinian actors are walking the red carpet.  This is a big deal.

I am admitedly an odd duck when it comes to movie going.  I look at individuals and families that have movie nights and download movies galore from Netflix- or make regular trips to the local cinema to see the latest blockbuster flick as living in a strange world.  A world where they are willing to sacrifice large chunks of their lives staring at a bunch of people on a giant screen acting out fake scenarios.  And then I have a wierd twinge of jealousy at everyone’s ability to lose themselves in a movie and I wonder what is wrong with me. 😛

But then movies like Omar come out.  And I cannot wait to see them.  Because there is a purpose that reverberates in my heart.  There is meaning behind a film with the West Bank and the separation wall as its backdrop.  It’s not every day Hollywood talks about Palestine, Occupation and the Apartheid wall.

So I am enjoying the cover photo of this blog post- of the Writer / Director, Hany Abu-Assad and his cast on the red carpet at Hollywood’s most prestigious event of the year- as it represents these occasional opportunities for the oppressed to be heard.


 Watching this film, like the other films in this genre, was difficult.  When you have an understanding of the situation in Palestine- and when you feel emotion for the situation- it is literally work to watch each scene unfold.



The plot centers around a love story between the film’s main character, Omar, and Nadia- the sister of Tarek, a resistance leader that Omar and Amjad operate under.  All childhood friends- they take out an Israeli border guard as part of their desperate freedom fighter quest.  And just like other David and Goliath type stories in war torn backdrops, this decision is not going to make their lives very easy by any means.

The theme throughout is betrayal.  Real betrayal, pereived betrayal- all induced by the trickery that occupation brings- something the majority of us on the planet will never really understand.

What stuck with me as a spectator of this film as I lost myeslf in the characters – is that I felt as if the occupiers literally live inside the bodies and souls of the occupied.  The tragic outcomes of occupation go beyond land disputes and settlements- walls and check points – lost loves and thwarted life plans – even beyond physical life and physical death.  What this film gave me a glimpse of is how it is an occupation of the heart, the mind, the spirit. And how the innate human need to expunge an uninvited force that has found a way to enter your mind and body and strangle you from inside- develops.

My first world problem this morning as I type this is that I ran out of milk.  Bummer.

I’ve always held the belief that God has made the people who suffer indignities all across our planet much differently than He made people like me.  They are made with a type of resilience that is meant for the rest of us to respond to- even if it’s a feeling in our hearts.  If we go about our business while tragic happenings across the planet do not at least do that- trigger a twinge of the heart- then we truly have become unplugged and have allowed complacency to occupy our inner soul just the same.

 “If you do not feel ashamed of anything, then you can do whatever you like. “ ~Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, his family and his companions


About the Author

About the Author: I'm a Writer and Muslim Activist. I'm also a Board Member of the #MyJihad Public Education Campaign. Follow my blog at yasminareality.com or follow me on Twitter: @yasmina_reality. I'm also now on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YasminaReality Peace! .

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