“Living of the Pigeons” presents a day in the life of Palestinian workers

Palestinians traveling through a border area from the documentary “Living of the Pigeons.” (Photo courtesy of ZUMEFF)

Palestinians traveling through a border area from the documentary “Living of the Pigeons.” (Photo courtesy of ZUMEFF)

By Amna Obaid

ABU DHABI—I attended ZUMEFF in the Convention Center Auditorium at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi on 17-18 May 2015, and one of the documentary movies that really grabbed my attention was “Living of the Pigeons.” This documentary film was created by Palestinian director Baha Abu Shanab from Dar Al Kalima University.

It was my favorite among all the movies presented during ZUMEFF event. “Living of the Pigeons” focused on the Palestinian issues and how Palestinians live during an Israeli attack.

One thing I liked about the film is that the actors were able to own the characters they presented. The audience was really attracted by the scenes in the movie as it was presented as if it was in the news. This shows the Palestinians’ suffering.

Abed is a man who spent most of his day working to feed his children. It is the same with the rest of the workers in the movie. They were going to work at 5 p.m. and getting back home at 4 a.m.

Abed’s facial expressions show that the Palestinians’ sufferings cannot be alleviated because they have no weapons to defend themselves. In one of the scenes, he expresses his life as the burning cigarette as they felt their weakness and said, “Life is bitter. I swear life is bitter.”

In one of the scenes, workers showed that they were really depressed and hopeless. They had to go to the work every day even if they are sick, because if they did not go, their families would starve. They had to travel to their jobs several hours before work time because they did not have transportation and they had to spend many hours walking. Also, they have to go to work and to come from the same path where there were barriers forced and protected by the Israelis’ Army.

Mr. Abu Shanab, the director of the documentary movie, said that he faced difficulties from the Israeli Army when they were shooting the movie. The Israeli Army tried to stop him three times but he succeeded at the end and finished his work. The actors were disappointed in a time as some of the media channels wouldn’t let them shout freely and they had to keep reshooting some of the scenes as well as there were some crowds from the near villages watching and blocking the cameras. Mr. Abu Shanab concluded the interview by saying “let’s forget everything and live our today.”

As I mentioned above, the acting was powerful. The actors’ work had an emotional effect on the audience. People in Palestine suffered, and they are still suffering.

Considering others’ people lives, we should always thank God for what we have—and that we are able to give to those less fortunate than we are through our donations to charities.


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