By: Filistin Al-Remawi
RAMALLAH, November 1, 2012 (WAFA) - “Qalandiya International” festival, which was inaugurated Thursday in Qalandiya village, north of Jerusalem, cast the lights on the area that was Palestine’s window to the world, where Qalandiya airport was active until 1967, and suffers daily from the Israeli occupation’s wall that suffocates it.
The opening ceremony took place in the house of Al-Hoqiya family that has stood there for more than 200 years since the Ottoman era and which is an evidence of the solidness of the people who are here on their land to stay.
The festival’s technical director, Jack Parzekhian, who had earlier announced during a press conference the inauguration of “Qalandiya International,” said the art show is a modest attempt to attract the international media which is attracted by the political situation that is stealing the light from the suffering of the town of Qalandiya and its residents.
The Qalandiya refugee camp, built on land of Qalandiya village, and which the apartheid wall Israel has built around it has divided it into two separate parts, as well as Qalandiya airport have become the symbol of isolation and disconnection and at the same time a symbol of Palestinian people’s steadfastness against occupation.
For all these reasons and because Qalandiya has been associated with the Israeli checkpoint that continues to suffocate the West Bank, disconnecting it from Jerusalem and the rest of the world, the festival came to highlight the steadfastness of the people facing all kinds of daily suffering by the Israeli measures and policies, especially the apartheid wall and the checkpoint.
Minister of Culture Seham al-Barghothy delivered a speech at the opening ceremony in which she said that the “festival symbolizes our people’s steadfastness as they are rooted in this land as the olive tree.”
Several art events, music, performances, films, tours, and cultural activities will take place in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Gaza, Ramallah, and in several other towns and villages in the West Bank as part of the festival.
Qalandiya International is the culmination of the vision and work of seven prominent Palestinian cultural institutions that are focused on contemporary art and the Palestine cultural landscape.Riwaq, Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, A. M. Qattan Foundation, Palestinian Art Court – Al Hoash, International Art Academy – Palestine, Sakakini Cultural Center and the House of Culture Arts – Nazareth collaborated in this artistic work.