Local filmmaker seeks to expose plight of Jordan’s Gaza refugees


AMMAN — For Dalia Abuzeid, living with a Gaza Strip ID card in Jordan has made her feel like a “citizen of nowhere”, which led her to start filming “Remember Us” in an effort to do something for Palestinian refugees in Jordan.

“[Being a refugee] brought me closer to this issue and sparked an interest that led me to visit the Gaza Refugee Camp [in Jerash] on several occasions,” the director and writer of “Remember Us”, told The Jordan Times.

The planned feature-length documentary tackles Jordan’s “forgotten minority” — Gazans — said 22-year-old Abuzeid, who studied filmmaking at the SAE Institute.

A sequence of the documentary will be shot in Gaza to raise questions about what would have happened to the Gazans residing in Jordan, had they never come.

Refugees from Gaza came to Jordan in the wake of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. They are treated as Palestinians residing in the Kingdom, with temporary passports that must be renewed every two years.

Abuzeid said the documentary will reveal “untold stories” about the lives of the refugees, while raising global awareness and aiding social campaigns to address their daily physical, emotional and social problems.

A turning point in the film’s production came after a private European investor contributed half of the project’s budget, she said.

“Her passion and help led us to the stage we are at now.”

In order to cover the rest of the film’s expected costs, Abuzeid launched several fundraising campaigns and is now in the process of applying for human rights grants before she starts filming.

She noted that “Remember Us” will be released internationally, according to the planned distribution and marketing campaigns, to bring the issue to a global audience.

Abuzeid began working on the film in 2012 and teamed up with production company Concept View after she completed the first draft of the script.

She expects her documentary to expose how difficult daily life is for refugees through a raw and interactive filming style.

“We believe this film will open the eyes of both governments and individuals around the world to the conditions in the camp, and encourage them to help by giving more opportunities rather than taking them away,” Abuzeid told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.

She said the majority of the refugees she spoke to at the camp were “physically, socially and psychologically weakened”.

“I have sat with those who lost their children, as they were unable to afford medical care. I have entered their tin-roofed ‘temporary’ houses, as they cannot afford the cost that comes with building a cement roof,” she said.

Abuzeid said that through “Remember Us”, she seeks to inspire debates and fundraising events around the world to help create a fund to support the camp’s residents.

“This documentary will tell inspiring and successful stories within the Gaza camp. This is to say that despite all the constraints that refugees from Gaza face… there are people who can make a difference.”

(Source / 13.08.2013)

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