He was shot dead. Five bullets, one man. Juliano Mer Khamis.
It was only months ago, when my friends and I watched his first documentary film “Arna’s Children“, in the university. I cried, I smiled and I laughed.. I lived every second of it, For the Documentary itself was brilliant and rather engaging. It was about Juliano’s mother “Arna” who was a Jewish human rights activist and who wanted to establish a children’s theatre in Jenin. So we followed his mother’s life and death, her efforts to establish the theatre and how with the help of Juliano made it from scratch.. we watched the boys who were actors in the theatre grow up, get married and have children, and we watched most of them die by Israeli soldiers in Jenin.. At the end I felt like I know them all, and that I know Juliano.. personally.
After the documentary we skyped Juliano. He talked about the documentary, and then we had a Q & A session with him. And then I went home telling my family all about it..
Days later I added him on my Skype account, because I had a question about the documentary that didn’t cross my mind to ask then, so I added him and he accepted it, which was such a thrill to me.
One day I saw him online, so I thought of calling him, which I did. He answered but there was a huge problem with the audio that all I heard was high pitched sounds of I don’t know what. disappointed, I dropped the call. Then he called back, I answered and the problem was still on, I dropped the call again, he called again but the same thing happened, then we both gave up.
I thought to myself, it doesn’t matter, I’ll ask him later. Day after day every time I would log in to my skype and I would see him online I would say the same thing to myself “tomorrow, I’ll ask him.”
On the fourth of April, the news of his murder traumatized me, I could not believe my eyes. I mean two days ago he was online, I saw him online and thought of calling him and now he’s… dead? No, not dead.. Assassinated?
I cried my eyes out and was still in the first stage of accepting death “denial,” I thought to myself it’s impossible, it can’t be, he’ll be online again and I will call him, he’s not dead.. Unfortunately, it was not Aprils fool, and it was not a dream, it was true. He was dead.
oh how I wish I’ve called him..
I thought of writing something for him, but I didn’t know what to write..
Remi Kanazi, a poet, a writer, and an activist based in New York City. Wrote a poem in remembrance of him, i was very much delighted when i saw that he did.. and when i read it I felt like this is exactly how I feel..
The poem is in this link: http://poeticinjustice.net/news/juliano.html