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Al-Quds (Arab Jerusalem)

An old Palestinian man walks toward the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to pray, May 1967 (UNRWA footage).


Fifth of June Society

Al-Quds (Arab Jerusalem) is a short documentary produced by the Fifth of June Society to mark the one-year anniversary of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem in June 1967. The film uses footage from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) cinema archives to depict the lives of Jerusalemites before the war, in the immediate aftermath of the war, and on its one-year anniversary. 

Jerusalem is a city that has known many conquerors over its long history, but for centuries before the Israeli occupation, it had been under Muslim rule. After 1948, it became a haven for over 40,000 refugees from the western part of Jerusalem and from elsewhere in the country. Jerusalemites gradually rebuilt their lives, but then war erupted yet again, a short 19 years later. When Palestinian Jerusalemites finally emerged from their homes at the end of the war, they realized they were under foreign occupation as they saw familiar signs now bearing Hebrew script. The documentary ends with footage of the general strike throughout Jerusalem one year later. 

The documentary was written by Rosemary Sayegh, edited by Vladimir Tamari, narrated by Peter Shebaya, with music by Ibrahim Suz, and shot by Brian Langley and Halvor Naess.