Thursday, December 07, 2006

Samidoun in Norfolk

Last night, we were spellbound watching Samidoun, a multi-media presentation of the war Israel launched against Lebanon and its aftermath. (* Samidoun translates from Arabic to “steadfastness,” or “those who stay.”)

The producers, two award winning independent reporters--Ana Nogueira and Andrew Stern-- were in attendance. They shared their experiences and told us of their journeys obtaining the images and sound to create Samidoun--a multimedia presentation of the reality of war in Lebanon. We intimately experienced the raw truth of war and it's aftermath. We were able to see and hear the reality of what surrounded these reporters. The Lebanese people were given the platform to speak their truth. Best of all, Samidoun gave us the space to make up our own minds and opinions of what happened in Lebanon.

We learned details, new facts and information from legitimate, independent war reporters. "Hezbollah/hizbollah have no preferred English spelling of their name. The English words are simply a phonetic translation of Arabic. Hezbollah's television station is named Al-Manur. Al-Manur is the Arabic word for light house. Many Lebanese believe the British targeted the Lebanese lighthouse (which are historic and valued in Lebanon) as a symbol of Hezbollah. Stern and Nogueira shared a story of how they learned about drones. Drones make a whizzing, almost a buzzing, sound. They were walking around a Lebanese town when this whizzing buzzing noise started. Their Lebanese guide ran for cover under an awning and frantically waved and yelled for them to take cover. A drone was in the area. Israel used the drones to launch their bombing attacks. If civilians did not take cover in time to hide from the drones they would die in a bombing attack. Even in their homes people would freeze and stop all physical movements when drones came whizzing and buzzing so as not to set off an attack.

Nogueira and Stern remained on site for many hours to obtain their stories. After one Israeli bomb attack the Corporate Media showed up for their superficial "tour" and then left to dispatch their stories. During their tour the bodies of five Lebanese civilian had been recovered. Which is why the Corporate Media reported that five Lebanese civilians were killed and Democracy Now reported the true civilian death figure as 20. Nogueira remained on site until the last body was pulled from the wreckage in the evening hours.

Did you know that only four countries in the world label Hezbollah a terrorist organization? Acording to Stern and Nogueira the four countries are the U.S., Israel, Jordan, and the Netherlands. After some online research it looks like the number could be high as 9 IF all the countries listed online actually do define Hezbollah this way (U.S., Israel, Jordan, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland). Wikipedia states that six countries label Hezbellah as terrorists. ( U.S., Israel, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands.) The American Spectator reports that the Netherlands, Italy and Poland are the only Eurpoean countries defining Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Another online source states that Great Britain does not identify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, only an "arm" of Hezbollah is identified as terrorist. Their is no consensus online of how many or which countries actually identify Hezbollah as terrorist organization. (Of course, no one disputes that the U.S. and Israel define Hezbollah as terrorists.)

The work of Ana Nogueira and Andrew Stern exemplifies what independent media strives to create. It is in-depth, investigative reporting that presents the reality surrounding the reporters and sparks a discussion of the situation. In reality there is no one truth, no one party line that everyone adheres to. Only in "propaganda" is news distorted an presented this way.

Samidoun is the polar opposite of the propaganda that corporate media produces and packages as news in the USA.

Ana Nogueira worked as a producer at DemocracyNow. She is now an independent reporter and continues to work on assignment for Democracy Now. A sample of her recent reporting in Lebanon is available here.

Andrew Stern is a photographer and author whose work focuses on social and political issues around the world. For additional information and to view Andrew's work visit


Mosquito said...

I checked out the Samidoun tour schedule. Richmond folks you can catch this in your's the info:

Fri Dec 8 - Richmond, VA
Location: Virginia Commonwealth University, 224 S Cherry St, Williamburg House
Time: 7 p.m.
Sponsors: Virginia Anti-war Network, Campus Anti-War Network, Muslim Student Association at VCU
Contact: Sean O’Hern

justica said...

SAMIDOUN was a transformational experience & a "must see"! The commitment of Ana & Andrew in the collective struggle for Truth & Justice are exemplary!