The occupation segregates Palestinians from each other, from the world and their homeland. Not only since October 7th but for more than 75 years. What is life like on the ground? And who can tell best about than Palestinians who have lived this reality their whole life? Wahaj Bani Moufleh, a Beita-based photojournalist, left Palestine for the first time in his life and will return to Palestine soon after this evening. Wahaj will show his footage and speak about his life and work. Alaa Shehade, an actor and comedian from Jenin tells us about the recent changes and ongoing reality he has witnessed living in Jenin his whole life. Alaa will share a monologue from his upcoming theatre show ’the Horse of Jenin’. Esther van der Most will speak about the reality of her remaining family in Gaza and losing three family members due to an Israeli airstrike. As the director of organisation ‘Plant een Olijfboom’, she works on practical ways to make a difference. Together we will explore ways to take action and do something. Because even though we sometimes feel hopeless, we are never powerless.

In conversation with
Esther van der Most
Director Plant een Olijfboom
Wahaj Bani Moufleh
photojournalist based in Beita (Westbank, Palestine)
Alaa Shehade
Actor, comedian and organizer from Jenin Refugee Camp, Palestine

About the speakers

Wahaj Bani Moufleh: Photo journalist

Wahaj Bani Moufleh is a Beita (Westbank) based photojournalist. Wahaj works for the Dutch foundation Plant an Olive Tree and Ultra Palestine. His freelance work has been published all over the world. Wahaj not only registers life on the West Bank through his lens, he lives it. He will talk about the reality on the ground and illustrate this with his own footage.

Alaa Shehade: Actor, comedian and organiser

Alaa Shehada is an actor, comedian and organiser trained at the Freedom Theatre Acting School in the Jenin refugee camp, Palestine. Alaa tells us about the recent changes and ongoing realities he has seen throughout his life in Jenin. Alaa co-founded The Palestine Comedy Club and organised several children’s activities for the Palestine Fund after the Jenin refugee camp invasion in 2022. Since 2011, he has been a core artistic member of Troupe Courage and will recite a monologue from their upcoming theatre show “The horse of Jenin”, with which he will tour at home and abroad from September.

Esther van der Most: Director ‘Plant een Olijfboom’

Esther van der Most is the director of the Plant an Olive Tree foundation and her in-laws live in Gaza. During the past month, her mother-in-law, sister-in-law and 5-year-old niece were killed by an Israeli bombing. Her family wants their stories to be heard. Esther will also speak about concrete actions we can take. It is good that we know these stories, but even better if we change and stop the reality of occupation and injustice.

Maya-Nora Saaid: is a social media producer and journalist for Middle East Eye.

She endeavours to shift the Western perspective on the Middle East and North Africa by creating video explainers. Her most notable achievement was when she asked Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, about the time in Palestine and Israel. Initially, Siri didn’t recognise the time in Palestine. However, after going viral and her TikTok account being banned, Siri is now capable of recognising the time in Palestine.

Foundation Plant een Olijfboom (Plant an Olive Tree) works for a just peace in Palestine with equality for all civilians, including the right of return for Palestinian refugees. By planting sponsored olive trees people can help protect the land from a law that declares Palestinian empty lands to be ‘Israeli state land’. Through the Palestine Fund help is given where needed, currently in Gaza with basic needs like clothes, blankets, food, and whatever is still available, is bought and handed out by Plant een Olijfboom’s local team.

Programme seriesJustice for Palestine

The Justice for Palestine series will focus upon the broader historic- and present-day context of colonisation, apartheid and military occupation that preceded the horrific October 7th attacks and the relentless bombardments of the Gaza strip that followed. By starting these dialogues, we aim to focus on envisioning sustainable solutions for justice, equality and peace in Historic Palestine for all people who are living there.