Documentary “Forbidden Pilgrimage” Screened by Student Affairs

The Birzeit University Deanship of Student Affairs screened the film “Forbidden Pilgrimage” on February 10, 2015, also hosting director Ahmad Al-Damen. The documentary film sheds light on Israeli occupation policies that hide realities on the ground from Christian pilgrims that visit the holy land and are prevented from mixing with persecuted Palestinian Christians in the occupied West Bank, at the same time that Palestinian Christians living in the territories occupied in 1967 cannot visit historic Palestine, the cradle of their religion.

Dean of Student Affairs Mohammad Al-Ahmad said that the Deanship of Student Affairs and its University Activities Office is eager to promote art and cultural activities, including documentary films, that contribute to the enrichment of knowledge and open horizons of thought on vital issues of concern.

Ahmad Damen is a Palestinian music composer, filmmaker and writer. An MSc holder in Change Management from Leeds University, Ahmad left his job to pursue his dreams in films and music. His career in composing soundtracks includes 12 long documentaries and other short fiction and TV projects.

His first feature documentary “The Red Stone” (2012) was an international success and represented Palestine at the Istanbul International Film Festival and Arab Camera Film Festival in Rotterdam. The film was officially selected in festivals in Boston, Bristol, London and was awarded a Special Jury Selection prize at Toronto Palestine Film Festival in Canada.

His new film “Forbidden Pilgrimage” has already been selected for viewing at the Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival and at the Toronto-Palestine, London-Palestine and Bristol film festivals. Damen has worked as the editor of This Week in Palestine, in addition to writing several articles in prestigious newspapers and online blogs.

He currently heads the TV unit at the Media Development Centre at Birzeit University.