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20 Handshakes for Peace

Directed by: Mahdi Fleifel
5 Minutes, 2014

September 13, 1993: Two national leaders reach out and shake hands, while a third one watches. Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin, and Bill Clinton in the garden of the White House. A historic moment, repeated 20 times, tainted by countless shattered hopes. On the soundtrack Edward Said expresses his outrage at the Oslo Peace Accord which was settled by this handshake. 

“I remember the handshake very clearly. My dad recorded the ceremony on video and would play it over and over again. He could not believe what had happened. In fact, none of us could. One time he threw his shoe at the TV and shouted so loud, the next door neighbors complained about him. Listening to the last interview with Edward Said while watching the ceremony made me realize that father’s anger was because chairman Arafat was the first one to reach out his hand.” (Mahdi Fleifel)