Friday, October 13, 2006

Film and Politics




This whole RSICA debate is interesting. So let me start with some clarity...

I have a problem with Israel. I have a problem with its treatment of Palestinians. I have a problem with what they did to Lebanon. I have a problem with the settlements, and I have a problem with the aggressive Israeli government.

Now that that's clear. Let's talk about how I think the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts will be amazing.

1) First and foremost, it will teach Arabs in the Middle East how to make movies. Hopefully great movies. It's a very complicated art form. Bad movies are hard to make. Great movies are even harder to make.

2) Arabs will have a third choice to dream of. Not everyone will have to become a doctor or an engineer when they grow up.

3) Arabs will have the opportunity to tell their stories and negate the negative stereotypes in Hollywood films.

4) Maybe, just maybe, an Israeli student at RSICA will see that Arabs sitting next to him are good normal people who aren't full of hate, and maybe, just maybe, he will spread that message through a movie he will make. Myabe he'll make a movie with a fellow Arab filmmaker. Co-directing a picture. Imagine that.

5) Maybe, just maybe, the art of storytelling through film will start a dialogue between people.

I can understand all the anger and mistrust that hit my blog over the RSICA debate. When I met an Israeli for the first time (that was last year at AFI), I wasn't sure what I was supposed to think of him. Does he hate me? Does he have some prejudgment about me because I'm Arabic? And then he came and introduced himself, "Hey, I'm Oded, what's up!" I really wasn't sure. I'd had this preconceived notion, this judgment, already in me not to trust Israelis. But you know what I found out as we got to learn more about each other? I got to find out that we're very similar people. And I hope that RSICA will provide that opportunity to Arabs and Israelis in the Middle East. And I hope they'll learn to stop hating each other. I hope they'll learn that there are individual voices that can be impowered to make a positive impact and actually create something that can reach people and let them understand one another.

The power of movie making is tremendous. I know that the lon-term outcome of RSICA will be positive for both sides.

61 Comments:

Blogger Lubna said...

commenting about the pic:
ya 3am.. sho hal sowar.. send it to your parents, let your mom hang it on the best wall in the living room(H)

commenting about something off topic:
why do I always sense a tone of seriousness in your posts?

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Maybe, just maybe, an Israeli student at RSICA will see that Arabs sitting next to him are good normal people who aren't full of hate,"

I see, so all those arabs who have been maimed, butchered, or expelled will now have an oppurtunity to prove they are good normal people to those who harmed them and their loved ones. Wow Amnin!

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both ur ideas (points 4 and 5) concerning "Israelis" are based on assumptions which I feel can hardly be substantiated!!!

5:41 PM  
Blogger Amin Matalqa said...

Hi Lubna,
Comedy is serious business.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Omernos said...

Amin

heard you want a poster?

Laith told me and I would love to help you :D

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

How the hell did a pioneering Jordanian project in the Middle East get turned around in a way that puts Israel in the center stage of blogospheric attention?

What exactly is the aim from stirring people's emotions over the simple fact that in addition to all the Arabs of the entire Middle East region Israelies can also apply to this institute? And I'm not talking about Amin here; I'm talking about fellow Arabs and muslims who chose to bring Israel out of nowhere into the center of this story. Everyone today, thanks to the big fuss that people have made over this, is talking about the RSICA in the context of Arab Israeli relations.

What is the purpose? Do Arabs want each other to boycott this school and hand it over to Israeli students? Remember who the majority is in the Middle East. Do people want Jordan to not accept Israeli students? Do people want Jordan to give up the substantial funding that this school is going to make because of its openness to Israeli students? This money is going to benefit probably 5 Arab students for every Israeli who even thinks of studying in Jordan.

I would encourage every Arab who has an interest in cinematic arts to consider applying for the RSICA; to go there and sit next to whoever shows up from Israel, let them show up, then show them who you are and what you're made of, and how you can do the same things they can and that you can do it better.

But for God's sake, don't just stand back and give it to them, because we all know they'll take it, they'll take anything, but I know we need it more, and more of us will benefit from it. So just do it and get over the little fact that some of them are gonna be there.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Miss Tina Sweis said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:44 AM  
Blogger Miss Tina Sweis said...

Alright...I wont have to go to hollywood anymore, trip to LA is cancelled. Amin said it all....in a way you do represent an image of a good jordanian, a voice to be heard where many people have dreamt to go. But hey,now there is a chance to innovate our dreams through RSICA rather than imitate the version of hoyllywood story. We have a chance to tell our stories on our land thru our young dreams, and through our children. That may re-live a story backwards, a solution first rather than starting with all the problems we might have with other nationalities and beliefs.

I truely am thankful and proud that our King is able to see beyong the horizon of our dreams and into a better future. For those who agree: Please stand up. If not, i guess you'll remain seated anyway.Cause today is a time for moving on, forward and up.

Amin..., looking good in the suit ;)

2:45 AM  
Blogger Miss Tina Sweis said...

Alright...I wont have to go to Hollywood anymore, trip to LA is cancelled. Amin said it all....in a way you do represent an image of a good Jordanian, a voice to be heard where many people have dreamt to go. But hey,now there is a chance to innovate our dreams through RSICA rather than imitate the version of Hollywood story. We have a chance to tell our stories on our land thru our young dreams, and through our children. That may re-live a story backwards, a solution first rather than starting with all the problems we might have with other nationalities and beliefs.

I truly am thankful and proud that our King is able to see beyond the horizon of our dreams and into a better future. For those who agree: Please stand up. If not, I guess you'll remain seated anyway. Cause today is a time for moving on, forward and up.

Amin..., looking good in the suit ;)

2:45 AM  
Anonymous White Man said...

"I'm talking about fellow Arabs and muslims who chose to bring Israel out of nowhere into the center of this story"

Here is a voice of love and peace and reason. I only wish if the Israelis can have the same tolerance you have towards your enemies.

Thank you Hamzeh N.

Peace
The Aryan & Neo-Nazi Filmmakers Union

2:52 AM  
Anonymous Yegal said...

Hamzeh N,

You are right to be upset. I mean what's the bid deal if I kill a few Arabs and demolish their homes during the weekend then go to your peace-loving film school on weekdays. GROW UP PEOPLE! It's just murder.

Yegal
IDF Special Forces

3:18 AM  
Anonymous Garfan said...

"an Israeli student at RSICA will see that Arabs sitting next to him are good normal people who aren't full of hate"

What are you saying dude? Who is expelling whom? Who is invading whom? Who is demolishing whoes homes? who is living in refugee camps? WHO SHOULD APOLOGIZE TO WHOM?

WHAT ARE YOU SAYING MAN!?!

4:27 AM  
Blogger Amin Matalqa said...

I guess what I'm saying is stop looking so angry so that people will start listening. Here's a perfectly reasonable scenario for you. If you were in a room and there were two people. One angry and bitter and one calm and pleasant. Who would you talk with? Who would you have a conversation, a dialogue, a negotiation with? Ghandi freed a nation of one billion from Brittish occupation. There was something smart about his methods. Peace.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Amin Matalqa said...

I met Hani Abu Assad, director of the Palestinian film, Paradise Now, last year. He came to AFI where they screened his film and followed it up with a Q&A with him. He was very likeable, reasonable, admirable... He made his case. He showed his view. He enllightened people. People like him are much more effective in showing the plight of the Palestinian people than angry intollerant Arabs. Hani worked with an Israeli producer. He won a Golden Globe for best foreign film. He was nominated for an Oscar. His film was distributed by Warner Independent. He's already working on his next feature film. Wow! Progress. Look at that. It's not because Hani goes around yelling and preaching intolerance. Hani knows that it's smart to work with people from all sides. Hani is very smart. Very calculating. Someone to look up to. Hani is a revolutionary.

While right now I have no intention to make political films, my feature film that I'm working on will hopefully do something special. It will present Arabs as human beings unlike Hollywood's stereotype terrorist. It has no politics. Some humour. A good story. Special characters. People that a western audince will hopefully connect with.

Now, whoever you are who's preaching intollerance and revenge... get smart about your plight.

5:07 AM  
Anonymous sami said...

"angry intollerant Arabs."

Amin, you keep piling one outragous insensitivity on top of another. I guess people who watch their loved ones get killed before them are "angry intollerent arabs." those who stand by them and feel their pain and want to express solidarity are not "good normal people" because they are "full of hate."

You are very insensative person. and you are no Ghandi. You are a self-serving opportunist, someone Bush would call a "moderate."

But look at the positive side, I predict you will be a great Israeli filmmaker and you will get lots of support.

Like they say in Jordan: anta ta3ref men ayna yo'kal elkatef.

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hani abouassad knows that it's smart to work with people from all sides."

Shu jab tuzz la marhaba?

what's Hani ABouasad got to do with an arab film school in Jordan that will admit war crimiinals? You are not making sense.

More importantly you left a minor detail. Hani Abou Assad is STUCK with the Israelis because he was born in today's israel. So please stop blowing smoke up our...

5:38 AM  
Blogger Miss Tina Sweis said...

Here we go again...

5:45 AM  
Blogger Amin Matalqa said...

I'll tell you what. Stay the way you are. Don't change a thing. There's room for everybody. My sincere best wishes to you with your life, whoever you are.

5:59 AM  
Anonymous muhannad F said...

amin you say that Hani is a revolutionary. i like pardise now and i like hani, but don't use the word revolutionary please. he did not use it and you don't deserve it.

revolutionaries are people who make great sacrifies and often times lose everything. you on the other hand are sacrficing nothing and gaining everything, except our respect which you are willing to despense with.

ghandi sacrificed all material posessions for his belifes and at the end he was killed. don't insult his memory and the memory of those who love him. the Brits were colonialists who just wanted to robb natural resources. the zionists are supremacist who want to clear the land from non-jews. big difference between the antagonists and the protagonists, so to speak.

You sacrificed nothing and you aint a revolutionary for no cause but Amin. peace starts with justice not "just us" to quote Hareega.

6:20 AM  
Blogger Amin Matalqa said...

Like I said, best of luck to you.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Imad said...

All you had to do is keep learning filmmaking and keep making films, to make us laugh and to admire your talent. And we all of us, without exception, would have rooted for you. Amin who loves filmmaking, Amin the good the guy next door. Amin the up and coming Jordanian filmmaking talent.

But with the film school story WHOA!!

you have shown us a side of you that truly shocked us. I am truly saddened by the whole episode.

Sad to know that Jordan has still to wait for a great jordanian filmmaker to make us proud. A filmmaker that we can brag about not to the zionists and neo-cons, but to every one.

I am very angry at you Amin for stealing this dream from us. They did not gain anything by having you defend them, they have just made sure we lost something we thought, up to a couple of weeks ago, was special.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"What's the bid deal if I kill a few Arabs and demolish their homes during the weekend then go to your peace-loving film school on weekdays."

Don't mistake me for someone who turns a blind eye about Israel's atrocities. I've gotten phone calls from family begging me to shut up and not blog about it because I was going to get in trouble when I go back home. So don't patronize me.

In principal, the idea of an Israeli student sitting in a Jordanian institute for education is not wrong. The scenario that you described, is very wrong, and I sure will be one of the many voices that are going to oppose it. I might sound like I'm contradicting myself to you, but that's only because you're only willing to view this topic from a very high level point of view.

There are details that have to be involved, and there are measures that we can take in Jordan in order to prevent this. Like issue student visas and perform background checks on those who want to enter our country (just like the Israelies would do).

But has anyone brought up that point here? No. Has anyone here said "ok, but can you guarantee that the only Israelies that can come are those that can show that they were not involved in illegal operations in the illegally occupied terretories"? Has anyone said that? No.

What everyone always says in the Arab world is just "no". Nobody provides alternatives, nobody cares to provide a piece of input into how we can move forward even if a tiny bit. What Arabs want is a march of saints; to get to our goal with 100% pure steps. At the same time, Arabs don't want any part of it, they just want to sit back in their houses, or in their ordinary jobs and wait for their governments and their "leaders" to do it all for them.

"Why can't we make movies like American? ha ha ha, look at stupid JTV, pathetic! Name one Jordanian good movie, we suck, our government sucks! How many schools for cinema do we have? When is our government going to build one for us?" And then when their government finally starts working on it, they come back and say "oh it's not perfect, don't do it."

Nothing is perfect. It doesn't happen that way. And if you keep saying that, nothing will every happen, and the only people you should blame is yourself.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Amin Matalqa said...

Best of luck to you too, Imad. Really.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"angry intollerant Arabs."

Amin, you keep piling one outragous insensitivity on top of another.


Maybe it's your over-sensitiveness!! The comments here clearly show that there are Arabs who are angry, and the fact that they are all coming out and speaking in such a manner to the guy simply because he is for a Jordanian film school in Aqaba and that he believes there is more benefit than harm to admit Israelies to it shows how intollerent they are. The reactions to this story prove Amin's point and the only reason I could see someone objecting to that statement is being oversensitive, so get over yourselves people.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"I am very angry at you Amin for stealing this dream from us. They did not gain anything by having you defend them, they have just made sure we lost something we thought, up to a couple of weeks ago, was special."

How viscious, unforgiving, and intollerent (yes intollerent) Arabs can be.

Who handed this to Israelies, ha? And who the hell are you to accuse this man of being on Israel's side against his fellow Arabs' side? Just becuase he wants to see a great project made for Arabs, by Arabs, succeed? Just because a few Israelies are gonna be able to participate in it? It thyerefore must nullify the entire project?

Don't you people have any shame when you speak? Who made you guardians of the cause? Who made you saints? You're the same people who keep complaining about our political and technological ineptness in the Arab world while being the reason for that ineptness yourselves.

What do you have to offer that's better? Show me your counter offer, convince me to go your way and not the RSICA's? What do you have? Nothing but words. Well talk is cheap.

Give me an idea, don't even build an institute, just show me an idea to achieve the same benefit of the RSICA without having to admit Israelies in. Do you have ideas? Or do you only have words?

The only one you should be angry at and ashamed of is yourselves.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hamzeh you silly rabbit. here is an alternative solution to a film school in jordan attended by israeli war criminals: a film school in jordan not attended by israeli war criminals.

DUH! you are so dumb you can't even see the obvious answer to your stupid question.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

anon, yeah I'm dumb, khodni 3a ad 3a2lati then and go ahead and explain to me how your proposed schools is going to achieve the same international funding and backing that the RSICA is going to get.

Also go ahead and explain to me how world renowned film makers are going to work with your proposed institute and give its faculty all the support that they need.

Why don't you go find someone to start such a project. I'm sure if it's going to be better than the RSICA, then people are simply gonna go for it.

But you don't have to listen to me, I'm just a silly rabbit as a "wiseman" once said.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hamzeh, So if al-Qaeda wants to invest in a film school in Jordan will you support it?

Here is a simple suggestion, we go to USC and say that good jordanian citizens are opposed to this project because they object to israeli war criminals being in their midst.

Another idea is to put the issue up for vote by tax paying Jordanians.

But silly me, I keep thinking we live a modern country where hard working, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens have a say in such matters. shit man, we can't even decide on silliest issues like a school.

Sorry hamzeh, it's me who is dumb for always confusing our government with the israeli government, where citizens decide.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Amin Matalqa said...

Hamzeh, it's pointless to argue with this guy. There will always be people who will oppose and protest. Nothing will change their mind. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Amin Matalqa said...

Thanks Tina also.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"hamzeh, So if al-Qaeda wants to invest in a film school in Jordan will you support it?"

Hey, if they wanna give us money, why not? But nobody even said anything about Israel investing in the RSICA. The only mention of Israel was that Israeli citizens will be able to apply.

"Here is a simple suggestion, we go to USC and say that good jordanian citizens are opposed to this project because they object to israeli war criminals being in their midst."

Like I said before, I don't want to see an IDF soldier who participated in illegal operations on Palestinian occupied terretory anywhere in my country, but I believe there are options to explore other than rejecting the whole idea. There is such a thing as a "denied entry" to another country, and Jordan should be able to deny certain Israeli citizens entry to its land (and it has done so in the past with Israelies just as an FYI).

But regardless of of all of that, I personally still, and as much as it would irk me to see it, would be ok with any Israeli going to the RSICA in Jordan if I knew for sure that for every Israeli person there's going to be 5 more who are going to get the same benefit; even more. Israeli film students don't need the RSICA as much as Arab film students in the Middle East do, and if more Arabs are gonna have access to it, then this is an opportunity for us to overtake the other side. We will never be able to overtake our opponents with 100% efficiency, but as long as we're getting more benefit, it becomes much more important for us to do it than it is for them.

"Another idea is to put the issue up for vote by tax paying Jordanians."

Yeah, because "tax paying Jordanians" are always honest in their voting. Remember who sits on ballot boxes in Jordanian elections to make sure people vote for who they're supposed to vote; it's not any government official, it's ordinary Jordanian citizens themselves. I've been to Jordanian elections before and I know how clear the Jordanian electoral conscience is. Plus, I don't believe this kind of project is so detrimental (it's actualy benefitial) to Jordan that it deserves as a national poll.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

Amin, I've argued with people for years over a multitude of issues. It might be pointless in the sense that you will probably never read a reply that says "ok, I've been convinced."

But as long as there are valid arguments presented, most people will take them into consideration. True most of them will not give you the benefit of having your valid points acknowledged, but what gets said will change them in the end. After the discussions. Maybe months after.

This is even more true when we're talking about discussions between Arabs and Muslims and each other. Because in most of these discussions people are arguing about methods, not outcomes. In most of these discussions the people who argue are all on the same side, this makes each involved party consider the possibility that others might be right and this might be a better way.

It gets tiring I admit, and I don't go on on rants 24/7. What I believe is that if you have something to say and you really believe in it just say it. If you see no point in doing it for that particular case, then you don't have to do it, chances are someone else is gonna come and say whatever it is that you wanted to say anyway.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree guys. it's pointless to come at this point and try to teach adults what it means to have dignity and to feel for the suffering of others.

and all she wants to do is dance.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree guys. it's pointless to come at this point and try to teach adults what it means to have dignity and to feel for the suffering of others.

and all she wants to do is dance.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey this blog places contibutors in three catagories. The Good, The Bad and the ugly. The Good look forward past the tip of their nose.
The Bad live for today and trash with put down the Good for their ideas and accomplishments. The Ugly
Live in the past, have no insight, no vision, and can't see past the tip of their nose and on top of all that they attack any one who makes sense.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

Part of being a dignified adult, as opposed to an angry child, is learning that sometimes you have to shake hands with your enemies in order to get what you want from them.

You don't get what you want by practicing 7arad.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" sometimes you have to shake hands with your enemies in order to get what you want from them."

What a joke.

When you shake hands with this enemy, YOU will get what YOU want, but the victims will get more bullets since the message is that the enemy can get away with anything now that jerks like you will treat this enemy like a friend without expecting anything in return. Allah yegrefak.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Burhan Mjalli said...

hamzeh, we in jordan have a serious refugee situation created by israel in 48 and 67 and during the intifda. We have no economic leverage and no military muscle to pressure the israelis.

Since you are such a smart guy can you please outline to us how will your film school, by admitting israelis, will lead us to repatriate the regufees and solve one of Jordan's most critical challanges, and please use one historical precedent to prove your point that with goodwell alone, and in the absence of any pressure, expelled populations have been returned to their homes?

Humour us please, and remember what's at stake is nothing short of sending the wrong message to the israelis that we have no outstanding issues with the israelis.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"When you shake hands with this enemy, YOU will get what YOU want, but the victims will get more bullets since the message is that the enemy can get away with anything now that jerks like you will treat this enemy like a friend without expecting anything in return. Allah yegrefak."

First, thanks for raising the level of this discussion by calling me a jerk. And I think God might have just listened to your da'wa today because I just ate something that was really mogref. Thanks again.

Anyway, nobody said anything about criminals getting away with their crimes. The only people who are treating this institute as a verdict of innocence for Israel are people like you, certainly not me. If you and I weren't having this discussion, and instead we were talking about Israel's crimes against the Palestinians, it would have been clear even to you that we are on the same side, that we have the same opinions.

What makes you judge that I will give all that up just because I want to see a good idea develop into reality and see Arabs succeed in something? Do you really know me that well?

This institute has nothing to do with politics. It's for film students. The fact that Israel has to be held accountable for its crimes against the Palestinians should not be nullified by a Jordanian institute for film that accepts qualified Israeli applicants. Who says that we can't have both the institute and punishment of Israeli crimes? So far here it's only been you. Why?

On a last note, I'm really interested in hearing your thoughts on what "I want". You seemed to stress the "you" part of that sentence. Please help me discover that hidden aspect of my self that complete strangers seem to have such a good grasp of, yet I the person concerned seem to have overlooked. What is it that you think "I want"?

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"Since you are such a smart guy can you please outline to us how will your film school, by admitting israelis, will lead us to repatriate the regufees and solve one of Jordan's most critical challanges."

lol, show me where in this post have I made the claim that this institute is going to solve that problem?

"Remember what's at stake is nothing short of sending the wrong message to the israelis that we have no outstanding issues with the israelis."

I completely agree with you that we do have many outstanding issues with the Israelies. What I don't understand is why suddenly, people think that a film institute in Aqaba means that we can no longer raise our concerns regarding the outstanding problems that we have with Israel. The first is an educational institute where students and faculty meet, the second is an issue that gets resolved by diplomatic representatives like foreign ministers, ambassadors etc.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Hanadi Hababneh said...

"The first is an educational institute where students and faculty meet,"

Listen to how utterly stupid you sound. That somehow a film school can become a sancturay for war criminals and that somehow an IDF soldier can walk into an arab film school and be transformed into an innocent civilian until his next tour of duty where he can go kill some more. You don't even read the other people's posts do you. What a shallow guy.

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What I don't understand is why suddenly, people think that a film institute in Aqaba means that we can no longer raise our concerns regarding the outstanding problems that we have with Israel."

What I don't understand is that why suddenly you think that jordanians would like to invite war criminals to attend our schools in the first place, irrespective of any outstanding issues we may have with israel.

Second, even if go along with your argument, the government of Jordan does not echo the sentiments of the overwhelming majority of Jordanians on the issue of Israeli war crimes. Our government is not even activley pushing for the release of our prisoners in Israel, except in a token sort of way. Shameful if you ask me.

Third, as citizens of Jordan we have a moral obligation to oppose any blackmail by any party where assistance is only offered to us so long as we accept to drop our pants so the israelis can stick to us again and again. You like that, we dont.

So there you have it, your opinion does not make sense, and I know you think highly of your opnions.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous ARYAN NATION said...

Hi Hamzah, Amin:

I applaude your pragmatism. A film school should be for people who want to learn filmmaking, and we should not let politics or ethics get involved.

Me and my friends from the White Aryan Nation would like to know if you will welcome us too into the film school. Like Israelis, we hate people who are not like us (but unlike the israelis we have not scceeded in resolving our demographic threat, but that's a minor detail). And since you belive in seperating politics/ethics from education, we thought it would be a good idea to apply for the red sea film school. Hopefully when we meet colored people and jews, we can learn to get along.

What do you say to that? or is it only the Israeli shit that does ont stink?

Thanks,
Aryan Nation Filmmakers

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"Listen to how utterly stupid you sound. That somehow a film school can become a sancturay for war criminals and that somehow an IDF soldier can walk into an arab film school and be transformed into an innocent civilian until his next tour of duty where he can go kill some more. You don't even read the other people's posts do you. What a shallow guy."

You can call me stupid and shallow all you want, that doesn't change the fact that I said nothing of what you imply I did.

As a matter of fact I invite YOU to read my comments and see where I explicitly said that the concept of an Israeli student in a Jordanian school isn't necessarily wrong, but the prospect of an Israeli who committed a crime is, and I talked about measures that people should advocate in order to prevent that from happening.

If this isn't enough for you, then please excuse me for all I am is a stupid shallow guy and you of all people should know that because you know me personally so very well.

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"What I don't understand is that why suddenly you think that jordanians would like to invite war criminals to attend our schools in the first place, irrespective of any outstanding issues we may have with israel."

Miscomprehension is truely a disease. Where in my words did I say Jordanians would like to invite war criminals? I actually remember explicitly saying that we should develop ways in order to make sure we keep them out. Like it or not, not every Israeli is a criminal. This is why I said the concept of having an Israeli student in a Jordanian school is not wrong in its entirety. I never denied Israel's crimes against Palestinians, and no matter what people will say, I will never give up my strong stance against Israel.

"Second, even if go along with your argument, the government of Jordan does not echo the sentiments of the overwhelming majority of Jordanians on the issue of Israeli war crimes. Our government is not even activley pushing for the release of our prisoners in Israel, except in a token sort of way. Shameful if you ask me."

I completely agree with you. Jordan is not a democracy, and our successive governments' performance when it comes to the issue of prisoners in Israel is quite shameful and borderline deliberate negligance. But I don't see how that concerns the concept of a film institute that is open to some Israeli students.

"Third, as citizens of Jordan we have a moral obligation to oppose any blackmail by any party where assistance is only offered to us so long as we accept to drop our pants so the israelis can stick to us again and again. You like that, we dont."

First, don't pretend like you know what I like, even if you think you can tell from the few words I said here.

Second, you are making a very big deal out of this one film institute. You look at this as blackmail, I look at it as an opportunity that we can benefit from without having to give up anything to our enemies. So what if their students could come to this one school in Jordan? It's not like they're getting anything new from it. We are the ones who are getting the benefits. In the end, we benefit more from this, so I don't really see how Israel is the one who's giving it to Jordan here, I would say it's the other way around. Because we let a few maybe a dozen of their students come to our school for the kind of education that is more than likely readily available to them, several dozens of Arabs from all over the Middle East get to enjoy world class education that wouldn't have been available to them otherwise. I'll take that as a small win.

1:06 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"Hi Hamzah, Amin:

I applaude your pragmatism. A film school should be for people who want to learn filmmaking, and we should not let politics or ethics get involved."
Aryan Nation.

ha ha, very funny. This really shows that the xenophobia that we always accuse others of having towards us muslims really also exists in us.

Here is an example where someone is equating Israeli citizenship to the membership in an organization based on race.

Israel, regardless of its many atrocities towards Palestinians and its continuing illegal occupation of Arab land in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, is not just an organization. It's an entire nation of people with many different races and different religions too. There are muslim Israelies and there are Christian ones. There are Arab Israelies too.

So you can take this poor comparison that you made and you can admire it and repeat it to others all you want, but that won't change the fact that it is invalid and inapplicable to this situation.

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I actually remember explicitly saying that we should develop ways in order to make sure we keep them out. "

Amazing! Hamzeh waves his magic wand and finds a solution in one sentence. Nothing yanks my chain more than someone who thinks he is saying something when he is saying nothing.

How do you propose we sort out the war criminals genious? Submit a background check to the IDF with a check box that says "YES, I killed (4) Arabs"

DUH!

1:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Israel, regardless of its many atrocities towards Palestinians and its continuing illegal occupation of Arab land in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, is not just an organization."

WOW! another timeless quote. DESPITE IT'S ATROCITIES. I almost forgot what really matters in this conflict.

WOW! Hamzeh, you are one amazing guy. Keep those amazing quotes coming.

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hamzeh, i expected a right wing zionist to be defending israel, but I did not expect a jordanian to be defending Israel. you are doing a fine job.

1:30 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"How do you propose we sort out the war criminals genious? Submit a background check to the IDF with a check box that says "YES, I killed (4) Arabs"

See I don't really care if we end up not giving any Israeli a student visa to Jordan because we can't verify their background and whether they present any security threat to our country or whether they were at any time involved in illegal activity that conflicts with the interests of the people of Jordan.

All I care about is establishing a system and a set of acceptable and agreed upon procedures. I don't care if we make the rules so broad that no Israeli who ever had to serve int he IDF makes it into Jordan. I don't care if only those Israelies who were pardoned from service maybe because they were their parents' only child or because they were handicapped or whatever other reason make it into Jordan.

What is important to me is to establish a set of reasonable rules that preserve the concept of this institute while also making sure that Jordanian interests (which Palestinian interests are tightly coupled with) are not compromised.

Like I said in one previous comment. Jordan has denied certain groups of Israelies entry into the kingdom in the past for two main reasons: 1) That the presence of those groups (usually strict and conservative Jewish) would enrage a lot of people in the country, and 2) because their security is not guaranteed and if anything should happen Jordan doesn't want to deal with that situation.

1:34 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"WOW! Hamzeh, you are one amazing guy. Keep those amazing quotes coming."

lol, but I suspect it's your lack of comprehension skills that is amazing, not just my comments!!!

1:35 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"hamzeh, i expected a right wing zionist to be defending israel, but I did not expect a jordanian to be defending Israel. you are doing a fine job."

Where did I defend Israel in this discussion? Go ahead and show me.

All I've been speaking in defense of is a Jordanian project for a Jordanian educational institute in Jordan. Where does Israel come into play other than the fact that the concept of an Israeli student (not necessarily any Israeli though) in this institute is going to be acceptable?

Which Israeli crimes did I defend? Which crimes did I deny ever happened?

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"All I care about is establishing a system and a set of acceptable and agreed upon procedures. "

But that's not gonna happen. You know it, I know it, everyone at the official level in Jordan knows it. We don't screen israelis who enter Jordan for war crimes and we won't screen israelis attending the film school. and neither you nor I have the authority to make this happen. so it's a moot point and we are back to sqr 0.

3:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous... Can you be more ignorant????? You embarrass the whole Arab nation... you represent the part of us I am truely ashamed of. Please take your anger and do something useful with it or shut up.
Thanks!!

Amin and Hamzeh, Thank you for representing the part of us I am truely proud of.

3:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Amin and Hamzeh, Thank you for representing the part of us I am truely proud of."

Which part is that? callousness? selfishness? lack of concern for the suffering of other human beings? lack of concern for Jordan's national security issues with the refugees? willingness to mingle with war criminals? normalizing with peopel who see you and me as a demographic threat?

4:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're either mentally incapable or plain stupid. Do the world a favour and get some medical help.
Making interpretations of things that wern't said and accusations on things that were never implied. You're sick.... get help.

And I mean that in the best way possible.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous falasteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen said...

This is sooooooo typical of all you fucked up falasteneyeh! Wyning so loud you can't even hear eachother, thats why your oun people die under your snobby noses, you can't even hear them scream help! ya 3ars inta weyyah ell shatreanli bel falsafeh, btbee3li your computer ya faddi ash3'al to feed another falastini kid min sheklak? Tab3an la2!!! Balash, help build them a school, re-build a hope of a home,all you do is talk? o jayeen tetfalsafo in Jordan? With all arabs mish 3arfean tetfahamo! you have severe exsistance issues , ma3 haik, we dont blame you...you chose to be wlad el qadeyeh, however, you just can't see beyond your....

At least some films pay for a good cause, out of 10 two are helping people in need! Mish bea3 7aki ma betami 7obez bas bem3'as....!
What kind of an example are you giving to others? I'll tell you, pathetic with no rational sympathy from anyone, not even youselves among eachother...
Wake up, o go blog where ignorance wins if this is your way of fighting for a cause.
I appologize for Amin on behalf of you,yes min kol el falasefeh elli 3'allabo 7alhom o daya3o his presious creative time on reading your crap.
Again you are in the wrong place, get your ass out of hear, you have no right to represent any of us.

Gal sho jayeb el bala lahal ommah?

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"But that's not gonna happen. You know it, I know it, everyone at the official level in Jordan knows it."

Well, you're probably right. It won't happen, but part of the reason it won't happen is that people will never ask for it. Instead, people are practicing this 7arad of "no no, don't do anything". That's not gonna be acceptable.

Instead of opposing the school, people should oppose giving entry to certain individuals. This even happens in the US. When the rightest of the right have a problem with muslims being admitted to the US, they don't say "ban all muslims from entry", even though they would love that to be the case. Instead they address the point directly and ask for better security measures.

We can do the same, that's my point. Whether the government agrees or doesn't, is another issue. The important thing is what's the right thing that we are supposed to do? And I don't think it's opposing this school.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"Which part is that? callousness? selfishness? lack of concern for the suffering of other human beings? lack of concern for Jordan's national security issues with the refugees? willingness to mingle with war criminals? normalizing with peopel who see you and me as a demographic threat?"

Once more my words are overloaded with things that I never said. This is going to be probably the third or fourth time (I lost count) that I ask people to read the first few comments where I explicitly said that we don't have to accept war criminals anywhere in our country.

lol, and what is this accusation of selfishness all about? What do you think I will gain from this in order to call me selfish?!

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

"This is sooooooo typical of all you fucked up falasteneyeh!"

Who told you that the guy is Palestinian? Who told you that I am not Palestinian?

I realize you might be a Palestinian who's angry at his people too, but I don't see how this attack is going to add anything to this discussion.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Norman said...

As an outsider American, I don't know that I can add much to this discussion, except to quote a taxi driver on one of my first trips to Amman.

After talking for 10 minutes he asked where I was from, and I told him "United States, Los Angeles." He then turned around (it's easy to do that when you're stuck in traffic around the Second Circle) and said "Every American I've met is warm and friendly. We Palestinians are warm and friendly. It's only our governments who ruin it."

I'm not saying that putting Israelis and Arabs together in a film school will cure all ills. But it will force them to collaborate together, to depend on each other, and to help each other.

There is no way that THAT can be bad.

11:54 PM  

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