Emil Habiby: I Stayed in Haifa AND Peace by Piece | Chicago Reader

Emil Habiby: I Stayed in Haifa AND Peace by Piece

Two hour-long Israeli videos on peace-making Arabs. Emil Habiby: I Stayed in Haifa is Dalia Karpel's affectionate 1997 portrait of the Palestinian-Israeli novelist and former communist; taped in the last weeks of his life, Habiby recalls the past, revisits old haunts, and reads from his autobiographical writings. Still a peace advocate, he feels ill-treated by the Israeli state, what he calls “the tragedy of the Palestinian people” evident in the sadness and wisdom of his lined face. Sharon Shamir's Peace by Piece (1997) follows Jordanian comedy team Nabil Sabil Sawalha and Hisham Yanis on their first Israeli tour, which unfortunately took place just after Rabin's assassination. The pair quickly realized they could not impersonate Rabin and were severely criticized in the Jordanian press for going to Israel at all. The video rambles a bit, but the pair's amusing routines skewer all sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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