A 30-strong audience commemorated the UN International Day of Peace at a screening of the documentary film “Within the Eye of the Storm”, held at the Peace Embassy in Thornton Heath on 27 September. This exceptional film follows the parallel stories of Palestinian and Israeli fathers who both suffered the pain of bereavement when their daughters were killed in the conflict but who chose to set out on a journey together to humanize the enemy in order to prevent the vicious cycle of retaliation in themselves and their societies. The audience were visibly moved by the tremendous courage of these two men, who overcame the instinct for vengeance and instead sought understanding, reconciliation and justice with accountability. The film was introduced by Margaret Ali (Director of UPF-UK), who is a personal friend of the film director, Shelley Hermon. A sum of £140 was raised through donations collected at the event, and these funds will be used to promote the film in schools in Israel and Palestine.
After the film showing, Doris Richard, a human rights observer with EAPPI (Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel) delivered a short presentation based on her assignment in East Jerusalem earlier this year. Her talk depicted the suffering of Palestinians living in the occupied territories and in particular she spoke about the demolition of dwellings to clear the way for a national park outside Jerusalem. Her evocative photo display mural further highlighted the plight of Palestinians and Bedouins and gave the participants much food for thought.