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Beyond the Storm

6th August 2004

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Beyond The Storm - Child at the Mar Elias Educational Institution in Galilee
Beyond The Storm - Children at the Mar Elias Educational Institution in GalileeThe land of Israel/Palestine is regularly in our newspapers and on our television screens, a never-ending spiral of violence and hatred. It can be difficult to believe that in this situation there can be hope and reconciliation.

This film revolves around the lives of a number of students studying at Mar Elias Educational Institution in Galilee, Northern Israel. The college is a rare institution as it accepts students from Arabic, Muslim, Jewish and Christian families and teaches the children about issues of reconciliation as part of the curriculum.

The film was commissioned by a UK based charity, the Elijah Trust. They seek to raise awareness and understanding of the situation, with particular reference to the area of Galilee in Northern Israel. A particular focus of the work of Elijah Trust is the Mar Elias Educational Institution. Here, the former village priest came over twenty years ago and saw the poverty and lack of opportunity for education amongst the indigenous Arab children and young people. He started with a Kindergarten and this has now grown phenomenally in to an elementary school, Junior school, High School and University.

A significant part of the ethos and teaching of all parts of the Institution is that of reconciliation and understanding of the other side. As Father Elias Chacour the founder says, “…for we were all born as babies…”.

The film is shot on location at Mar Elias and around Galilee and seeks to meet with the real people and enter into a friendship and relationship with them. We follow three students as they prepare to graduate from High School, and we also talk with Abuna Chacour, who has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and has been awarded with the prestigious Niwano Peace Prize.

Further discussion in the film comes from Israel Shamir, a prominent Israeli Jewish writer and journalist. The film is shot in parts, giving a new and fresh way of considering such a complex situation. Throughout the film, a specially commissioned soundtrack of songs and music evoke an atmosphere quite at odds with our understanding of how a television documentary should be. Although the film was part funded by the British Council as an educational resource for young people, it is apt for all age groups and provides a stimulus for thought.

Further information can be obtained by emailing Mark Harris, the producer of 'Beyond the Storm' and Chairman of Elijah Trust


British Council
The British Council is the UK's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Their purpose is to build mutually beneficial relationships between people in the UK and other countries and to increase appreciation of the UK’s creative ideas and achievements. The website contains contact details for cities in the UK and abroad.

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