UNA-NY Screening the Issues


Please join us for this special screening followed by
a discussion with Dr. Alon Ben-Meir,
journalist, negotiator and professor of Middle Eastern studies



Friday, September 9, 2011
6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Registration and Cash Bar
Screening begins promptly at 7:00 p.m.

The Tribeca Grand Hotel
2 Avenue of the Americas (between White and Walker Streets)
New York, NY



UNA Members: $10
UNA Student Members: FREE
Guests and Non-Members: $15

In BUDRUS, it takes a village to unite the most divided people on earth.

When the residents of Budrus learn that the Israeli army plans to build the Separation Barrier through their town, cutting them off from neighboring Palestinian villages and uprooting their precious olive groves, they decide to organize. Under the leadership of Ayed Morrar, Palestinian men of all political factions come together to wage an unarmed struggle to preserve their lands. Victory seems unlikely until Ayed's 15-year-old daughter steps in to organize a female contingent that brings the women of Budrus to the front lines in a tense stand-off with the military.

As word of the nonviolent protest spreads, Israeli citizens, international activists and Palestinians from other villages join the people of Budrus to demand that the Barrier be moved. Struggling side by side, father and daughter unleash an inspiring, yet little-known movement that is still gaining ground today.

Featuring interviews with unarmed demonstrators, Israeli soldiers and the citizens of Budrus, this harrowing, action-filled, and ultimately inspiring documentary by director Julia Bacha has given hope to audiences around the world with its story of the ground-breaking nonviolent movement spreading across the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Our Screening the Issues presentation of BUDRUS, the winner of multiple awards at international film festivals, will be followed this evening with a special guest appearance by Middle East expert Dr. Alon Ben-Meir, who will participate in a Q+A with the audience.

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is an expert on Middle East politics and affairs, specializing in peace negotiations between Israel and Arab states. For the past seventeen years, Dr. Ben-Meir has been directly involved in various negotiations between Israel and its neighboring countries and has operated as a liaison between top Arab and Israeli officials. Dr. Ben-Meir serves as senior fellow at New York University's Center for Global Affairs where he has taught courses on the Middle East and international negotiations. Dr. Ben-Meir hosts "Global Leaders: Conversations with Alon Ben-Meir," a speaking series of debates and conversations with top policy-makers from around the world held each semester at NYU. He also regularly briefs at the US State Department for the International Visitors Program.

Dr. Ben-Meir writes weekly articles, including a syndicated column in the Jerusalem Post. His articles have appeared in scores of newspapers, magazines and websites including the Middle East Times, the Christian Science Monitor, Le Monde, American Chronicle, the Political Quarterly, Israel Policy Forum, Gulf Times, the Harvard Review, and the World Policy Journal. He makes regular television and radio appearances, and has been featured on networks such as ABC, Al Jazeera (English and Arabic), Al Arabiya, CNN, FOX, NPR, PBS and Russia Today.

He has authored seven books related to Middle East policy and is currently working on a new book about the psychological dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Dr. Ben-Meir holds a masters degree in philosophy and a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University. He is fluent in English, Arabic and Hebrew.

Read Dr. Ben-Meir's article on Budrus here

Julia Bacha is a New York-based Brazilian filmmaker of Lebanese origin whose documentaries focus on the Middle East. Her award-winning films Encounter Point (writer and co-director) and Control Room (writer and editor) were exhibited at the Sundance, Tribeca, Berlin, Jerusalem, and Dubai International Film Festivals, among others. She has received several international prizes and was nominated to the Writers Guild of America Award in 2005. Her documentaries have been broadcast on the BBC, HBO, Sundance, CBC, and Al Arabiya television channels. After premiering as the Cultural Bridge Gala film at the Dubai International Film Festival, BUDRUS won the Audience Award, second prize, at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Critical Responses

"What's most gratifying about BUDRUS is that the film enables us to feel some of the same emotions the participants experienced. Harmony is not a word heard very often in the West Bank, but that is the best way to describe the feeling of watching people working for a just and peaceful solution." The Los Angeles Times

"So far there is no Palestinian version of Martin Luther King Jr. But one candidate might be Ayed Morrar. A balding, mild-mannered activist, he was the mastermind behind the most successful initiative so far: nonviolent demonstrations a half-dozen years ago in the West Bank village of Budrus against Israel's construction of a security fence there... The saga is chronicled in this year's must-see documentary BUDRUS, a riveting window into what might be possible if Palestinians adopted civil disobedience on a huge scale." Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times

"BUDRUS is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser." The Washington Post

"A poignant chronicle... this inspiring documentary stresses peaceful resistance as the best means of conflict resolution." Variety


UNA MEMBERS : $10 (in advance OR at the door)
Only UNA Members have the option of guaranteeing their seats by making reservations in advance (and paying at the door) OR, if they wish, by purchasing advance tickets

Not a member yet? Join for a $10 UNA student membership and attend ALL events for free!

NON-MEMBERS and Guests : $15 (in advance OR at the door)
All non-members must purchase their tickets in advance to guarantee their seats OR join for a $25 introductory membership and attend for free
(or at Members' prices for special events)

Questions? Please call (212) 907-1353 or e-mail: info@unanyc.org

NOTE: Only UNA-NY Members have guaranteed seating to all our Screening the Issues film events, and attend for free or pay the discounted Members' admission, while UNA-NY Student Members attend ALL events for free. Non-Members must purchase tickets in advance to guarantee their seats. While we do offer a pay-at-the-door policy for guests and non-members, our events are often sold-out, so we strongly encourage membership with UNA-NY to guarantee your seats! Why not take advantage?

UNA-NY is grateful for the generosity of the Tribeca Grand Hotel, for allowing our organization the consistent booking of their state of the art screening room for our film-talk series, Screening the Issues.

Nearest subway stations to access the Tribeca Grand Hotel area:
Canal Street station: A, E, C trains
Franklin Street station: No. 1 train

Also close, but requires a little walk:
Canal Street Station station: N, Q, R, W trains

View the Tribeca Grand Hotel neighborhood map and more directions