BZU Museum organizes screening of "Kingdom of Women: Ein El Hilweh"

Birzeit University Museum, in cooperation with the A.M. Qattan Foundation, Ramallah Cinema Club, GalleryOne, and the Institute of Women’s Studies at Birzeit University organized a screening of “Kingdom of Women: Ein El Hilweh,” on February 6, 2018.

The screening is part of the Out of Reels film program, itself part of the On Women in Revolutions exhibition, which will be held at the museum in the coming months. The exhibition will feature cinematic films highlighting women who lead revolutionary and liberation movements worldwide.

“Kingdom of Women: Ein El Hilweh” highlights the stories and struggles of women who lived in Ein El Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon. The film, in particular, highlights a period of two years, from 1982 to 1984, in which men were driven out of the camp or arrested by Israeli occupation forces. The Israeli forces then proceeded to tear down every house in the camp, prompting women to rebuild the camp from the ground up, hence the name of the documentary – “Kingdom of Women.”

The film, which alternates between animation and interview segments, depicts the story of seven women who surreptitiously organized the efforts of women in the refugee camp, despite the harsh rule of the Israeli military authorities at that time, and how they planned to smuggle aid into the camp and teach schoolchildren in such difficult times.

The film also depicts the women’s stories of arrests and their efforts in maintaining the education process, as they prevented, with their bodies, Israeli soldiers from barging into schools.

The women’s relationships with their husbands are also highlighted in the film. The women described in interviews how they maintained connections with their husbands, who were forced out of Beirut in 1982 or were arrested by the Israeli occupation forces, whether through letters delivered by the Red Cross or by other means.