Shedding light on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza

PHOTO: Musician Frank Gioia, Dania Kuzbari, Chief Louis Kwissiwa and Alya Husseini

SSM4Palestine, in collaboration with The Klub Community Centre, is proud to announce a transformative event aimed at shedding light on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Central to this event is the screening of “Tantura,” directed by Israeli producer Alon Schwarz. The film investigates the 1948 massacre at the Palestinian village of Tantura, and the work of one Israeli researcher to expose the truth. The film provides a look at Israeli society’s first-generation and how the country’s founding myth has shaped reality for generations.

Alya Husseini, a Palestinian Canadian who has lived in diaspora her entire life, underscores the importance of recognizing the historical context provided by “Tantura” for comprehending current issues. “The film shows the ways Zionism, as a colonial European project, transformed Palestine, which was a diverse land inhabited by Christians, Muslims, and Jews, into a state primarily for Jewish people. This process of displacement and exclusion reflects the ongoing struggles in Gaza, mirroring the same injustices that began over 75 years ago.”

Dania Kuzbari, a member of ssm4Palestine emphasizes the event as a unique educational opportunity, “Our community’s exposure to the realities of the Middle East is limited. This film screening is an invaluable chance for people from various backgrounds to come together, fostering empathy and engaging in constructive conversations about the conflicts in Palestine and Israel. It is a testament to the universal value of human life.”

The initiative aims not only to raise awareness about the ongoing crisis in Gaza, marked by severe oppression and violence, but also to inspire action. The event promises to offer a deep dive into the historical events that have shaped the current geopolitical landscape.

Event Details:
Date: Saturday, March 23, 2024
Venue: The Klub, 642 Queen St E #1, Sault Ste. Marie
Schedule: Doors at 6pm; Film at 6:30pm
Special Features: Keynote by Chief Louis Kwissiwa, performances by Frankly Speaking
Admission: Donation-based, with proceeds supporting World Central Kitchen’s efforts in Gaza

Chief Louis Kwissiwa, representing Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg First Nation, connects the film’s themes to broader patterns of injustice, “Though far removed from Baawiting, the story of Tantura resonates with the history of displacement and genocide we know on Turtle Island. Addressing settler colonialism is key to understanding and acting on issues of social justice and indigenous rights.”

Robert Peace who helped with the organization’s  March for Peace event for ssm4Palestine last year, expressed the critical role of the event in breaking the silence on Gaza, “The world’s indifference to the suffering in Gaza is unacceptable. Tens of thousands killed and now children are starving to death each day.Through ‘Tantura,’ we aim to highlight the ongoing humanitarian crisis and the importance of global solidarity. We must all be part of the solution.”

While some community members have expressed concerns about coming forward, citing fears for their personal safety and employment, Peace highlighted the importance of solidarity, “It’s disheartening that even in Canada, people fear repercussions for standing with the oppressed. This reality only strengthens our resolve to speak out and support one another.”

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