Featured Artists

The script of The Revolution's Promise is comprised of testimonies from Palestinian artists, as well as interview material available online. The interviews have been edited and juxtaposed together. People were interviewed individually without knowing who else was being interviewed. Each persons perspective, thoughts and ideas are solely their own. Over 30 interviews were initially conducted with 15 voices represented in the final text.

Below is a short biography of each person, in the order they appear in the script as well as further artists who are mentioned.

JULIANO MER KHAMIS

CO-FOUNDER & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

THE FREEDOM THEATRE

Born 1929 in Haifa, Arna was an Israeli Jewish pro-Palestinian human rights activist and teacher. Alongside local Palestinian women in Jenin Refugee Camp, she founded Care & Learning a teaching and art therapy program as well as establishing The Stone Theatre. In 1993, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award.

ARNA MER KHAMIS

ACTIVIST & TEACHER 

MOTHER OF JULIANO MER KHAMIS

Born 1929 in Haifa, Arna was an Israeli Jewish pro-Palestinian human rights activist and teacher. Alongside local Palestinian women in Jenin Refugee Camp, she founded Care & Learning a teaching and art therapy program as well as establishing The Stone Theatre. In 1993, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award.

AHMED TOBASI

CURRENT ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

THE FREEDOM THEATRE

Born in Jenin Refugee camp during the 1st Intifada, Tobasi's personal story is one that echoes both the armed and cultural struggle. During the 2nd Intifada, he joined the armed resistance, was shot and was imprisoned by Isreal, as a political prisoner for four years.  He is an actor, director and teacher and is the current Artistic Director at The Freedom Theatre.

YOUSEF SWAITAT

YOUNG ACTOR, 

THE STONE THEATRE

Yousef was a young actor at The Stone Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp. He performed in the Little Lantern and was 'the joker' of the group. After a life of living in the brutal conditions of the camp, he committed a suicide attack in Isreal in 2001. 

MOHAMMED BAKRI

ACTOR & DIRECTOR

DIRECTOR OF JENIN JENIN

Born 1953 in Bi'ina a Palestinian village that is now in Isreal. Mohammed is a director and actor performing around the world in theatre, T.V. and film. In 2002 he made the award-winning documentary 'Jenin Jenin' days after the Israeli invasion of Jenin Refugee Camp. Since 2002 Israeli has repeatedly taken Bakri to court, most recently banning the film and fining him. 

ZAKARIA ZUBEIDI

ARMED RESISTANCE FIGHTER

CO-FOUNDER OF THE FREEDOM THEATRE

Born 1976 in Jenin Refugee Camp, Zakaria is considered 'the symbol of the intifada'. He was a leader in the Al-Aqsa Brigade and co-founder of The Freedom Theatre. Both Isreal and the Palestinian Authority have imprisoned him multiple times throughout his life. Zakaria was arrested in 2019 and held in an Israeli maximum-security prison without charge. After two and a half years, along with five other political prisoners, he dug a tunnel using a spoon and escaped. After five days, he was retaken by the Israeli army. He remains imprisoned without charge to this day.

RANIA ELIAS

DIRECTOR & MANAGER

YABOUS CULTURAL CENTRE

Born 1971 in Bethlehem, Rania is a producer, arts manager, director of Yabous and of the Jerusalem Festival. Rania lives in Jerusalem on a family unification permit which she is under constant threat of losing due to her work at Yabous. Whilst there has always been Israeli aggression towards Yabous and its staff, this has intensified in the last few years, including Rania being arrested and interrogated, the centre raided and its documents & records confiscated. 

MOHAMMAD AL AZZA

ARTIST & PHOTOGRAPHER

LAJEE CULTURAL CENTRE 

A refugee from the village of Beit Jibreen who was born and lives in Aida Refugee Camp. He is a documentarian and photographer and directs the Arts & Media Unit of Lajee Center in Aida Refugee Camp. In 2013 he was targeted and shot in the head by Israeli soldiers, an attack he survived. Mohammad continues to photograph despite being arrested, continually interrogated and banned from movement in the West Bank. 

MARIAM ABUKHALED

ACTING STUDENT

THE FREEDOM THEATRE

Born 1991 in Nazareth, Mariam was a student and actor at The Freedom Theatre under Juliano Mer Khamis. She performed in 'Alice In Wonderland' as the Red Queen, the final production Juliano directed before his murder. Miriam has performed around Palestine, Europe, and the US and since 2016, been an ensemble member at the Gorki Theatre in Berlin. She regularly speaks out about Palestinian and refugee rights, patriarchy and racism.

SUHAIL KHOURY

MUSICIAN & COMPOSER

GENERAL DIRECTOR OF

THE NATIONAL CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC

Born in 1963, Suhail grew up in Jerusalem. He plays multiple instruments, is a composer, General Director of the National Conservatory of Music and co-founder of Yabous. Suhail was arrested, imprisoned and tortured by Isreal in 1988 for creating music tapes. He was arrested and investigated again in 2021. 

DAREEN TATOUR

POET, WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER

Born 1982 in Reineh near Nazareth, Dareen always knew she was fascinated by words. In 2015 she was arrested and imprisoned by Isreal for putting her poem 'Resist My People Resist Them' on Facebook. Consequently, it was read more than 200,000 times before her trial. Dareen spent three years between prison and house arrest. She is currently living in Sweden after repeated threats to her life by Israelis.

LOAI TAFESH

DANCER & CHOREOGRAPHER

FOUNDER NAQSH DANCE ENSEMBLE

Born in Jenin, Loai spent three years in Israeli prison after participating in union work at his university. He went on to complete University and found the Naqsh dance ensemble. Loai was arrested and imprisoned again in 2016 for over a year, accused of political choreography.  

MOHAMMED SABA’ANEH

CARTOONIST 

A Palestinian born in Kuwait, Mohammed returned to Palestine, where he works as a painter and cartoonist. He was arrested and imprisoned in 2013. Inside his cell, he continued to draw, smuggling his work out of prison. Later this work was presented in an exhibition and published in the book Black & White.

ALI ABU YASEEN

ACTOR, WRITER & DIRECTOR, 

CO-FOUNDER AL-MISHAL CULTURAL CENTRE

Born in Gaza and living in Shati refugee camp, Ali is an actor, writer, director and producer. He co-founded Al-Mishal Cultural Centre where he created productions for fourteen years until the theatre was specifically targeted and bombed in 2018.

OMAR BARGHOUTI 

CO-FOUNDER

BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS (BDS)

Omar grew up in Jordan, the son of Palestinian refugees. He returned to Palestine in 1993 with his partner, a Palestinian citizen in the state of Israel. Omar is an engineer by profession, artist by passion and student of Philosophy. He co-founded the BDS, which includes the Cultural Boycott, although stresses it is the collective work of many volunteers. His life and residency have been under threat since 2014, and he has faced multiple travel bans.

FURTHER ARTISTS SPOKEN ABOUT IN THE REVOLUTION'S PROMISE

NUH IBRAHIM

POET & REVOLUTIONARY 

Born in 1913, Nuh was called "the popular poet of the 1936 revolution". His poetry represented the beginning of the golden age of Palestinian folk poetry. Nuh was imprisoned by the British mandate who occupied Palestine. In 1936 they shot and murdered him at 25 years old.

KAMAL NASSER

POLITICAL LEADER, WRITER & POET

Born 1925 in Gaza, Kamal was educated in Political Science in Birzet University and later studied law. He was a Palestinian political leader, writer, and poet. He produced al-Ba‘ath newspaper from Ramallah and set up al-Jil al-Jadid (The New Era). Kamal was killed in West Beirut on the night of 1973 by Israeli special forces.

GHASSAN KANAFANI

WRITER & MEMBER OF THE PFLP

Born in 1936 in Akka, Ghassan was an author and a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He wrote many famous stories, including 'Men In The Sun' and 'Return For Haifa. In 1972, at the age of 36, Ghassan was assassinated by Isreal in Beirut when he turned on the ignition of his car, detonating a grenade which in turn detonated a 3-kilo plastic bomb. He was murdered, together with his 17 old niece, Lamees Najim.

NAJI AL ALI

CARTOONIST

Born 1938, Naji is described as the greatest Palestinian cartoonist. He drew over 40,000 cartoons and is best known as the creator of the character Handala. Naji was murdered in London in 1987. Whilst it was never confirmed, it is suspected to be a Mossad assassination.