On 27 November, in collaboration with the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, and the Council of Arab Ambassadors, UNIC Canberra held a reception and film screening of a Palestinian film Idol, in recognition of the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and coinciding with the Canberra opening of the Palestinian Film Festival 2015.
The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was for the first time proclaimed in 1977, following the adoption of a General Assembly resolution which called for an annual observance of the International Day on the 29 of November, in recognition of the 1947 resolution on the partition of Palestine which was adopted on that day.
Speaking to a full theater of over 150 people, which included members of the Diplomatic Missions, members of the Palestinian Community, civil society representatives, academics, and the general public Director of UNIC Canberra Christopher Woodthorpe read out the Secretary-General message. Other distinguished speakers included the Dean of the Council of Arab Ambassadors, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, His Excellency Mr Mohamed Mael-Ainin, His Excellency Izzat Salah Abdulhadi, the Head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia, Ambassador to New Zealand, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, and Ms Leila Sansour, Director and Producer, as well as the founder of Open Bethlehem, a foundation established to promote and protect the life and heritage of Bethlehem.
Film screening of Idol followed the official remarks. A true story of Palestine’s first pop celebrity Mohammed Assaf and his stellar rise to fame following his victory in the 2013 season of Arab Idol. The film follows the remarkable story of Assaf’s journey from a refugee camp in Gaza, through to his audition in Egypt and his crowning victory in Beirut that stirred the dreams, hearts and aspirations of people around the world. Since his win Mohammed has been chosen as UNRWA’s first ever Regional Youth Ambassador.
The film screening was made possible thanks to Mr Naser Shakhtour, Director of the 2015 Palestine Film festival.