Archbishop Tutu with President Carter and other elders at the gravesite of Bassem Abu Rahme, a Palestinian youth killed by Israeli soldiers in Burnat’s West Bank village of Bil’in. Readers who have viewed Burnat’s moving documentary ‘5 Broken Cameras’ will recall Bassem’s murder graphically captured on film.
Paul Herman, Capetown, News24, 5 September 2016
Palestinian film director, Emad Burnat, has sent a touching letter to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, praying for his recovery, and thanking him for supporting the Free Palestine movement.
Tutu has been recovering in a Cape Town hospital from an unspecified infection since August 26. The 84-year-old admitted himself to hospital, daughter Thandeka had said.
Emad Burnat, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker from Palestine, is in South Africa attending a UN media seminar in Pretoria, and took the chance to write to the Archbishop.
“I am just an ordinary Palestinian who once had the humble privilege of meeting you,” he wrote. ‘The world is a better place because of you’ – letter to Tutu.
“I clearly recall the day you visited our small village of Bil’in in Palestine [in 2009].”
“I am finally in your beautiful country!”
The ‘5 Broken Cameras’ director praised Tutu for embracing “frailty” more graciously than most, and said he and his village were praying for his recovery.
“You have done so much for our cause and struggle, given hope to so many of our mothers, fathers and children and you have inspired generations of our younger activists.”
“Palestine and we Palestinians will be free and your contribution toward our freedom will go down in history books.”
Burnat said he was touched by South Africa’s vibrant diversity and democracy which, with all its problems, was Palestine’s beacon of hope.
“I am deeply inspired and motivated by the various activists, solidarity organisations and the work of the BDS [boycott, divestment, and sanctions] movement in this country.
“While you were with us you explained how you recognised Israel’s system of oppression as being similar to the Apartheid regime.
“The world is a better place because of you.”
NOTE: This week Kia Ora Gaza transferred $6000 to Emad Burnat in Bil’in towards a replacement video camera, so he can continue his important work documenting life under Israel’s brutal occupation and local resistance.
Kia Ora Gaza hosted Emad Burnat’s speaking tour of New Zealand earlier this year, with special screenings of ‘5 Broken Cameras.’
We thank all those who generously supported this appeal which is now closed.