Apr 19 2003

Nazeeh Darwazeh- A genuine Palestinian View from Inside

Published by at 12:00 am under Articles

Nazeeh Darwazeh was operating a photo and video studio in 1988 when I was looking for a cameraman who can film the Palestinian intifada from inside. I helped introduce him to the world of broadcast television. Today I wish I didn’t. Nazeh died on duty filming outside his Nablus home Saturday.

At the time there were no Palestinian television stations and the only television we knew were the stations of nearby countries. The first Palestinian intifada had captured the interest of the world, but all the cameraperson and producers were foreign, many were even Israelis. Our project was simple, to professionally train Palestinians over a six month period by allowing them to film their own lives. The end product was then edited into a sixty minute documentary we called Palestinian Diaries.

Nazeeh lived in the casabah, the old city of Nablus that seemed perpetually under curfew. He presented the view from windows and alleyways that no one else had ever dreamed of seeing. British television broadcast the film, which has since become the most authentic reflection on the first Palestinian intifada. MPI home video in Chicago which is now selling the home video version calls it “A unique project in which three young Palestinians, professionally trained and supplied with low-cost cameras, document their lives and the occurrences in their communities, vividly capturing the reality of existence under Israeli occupation. During the six months of the filming, Nazeeh got married. Today his wife is a widow.

When the Palestinian Authority was established, Nazeeh was immediately offered a job as the Nablus cameraman for Palestine TV. He worked with them ever since and has also was worked with APTV.

Nazeh, a soft-spoken man was at peace with himself and all around him. Living in the casabah didn’t turn him to hate Israelis, many of whom he met and had excellent relationship with. After a few years of working as a professional television cameraman he saved some money and bought an apartment outside the old city of Nablus not far from Najah University.

He survived the intifada, living in the Nablus casabah. He also survived numerous Israeli incursions into Nablus. But today his life was cut short when a bullet from Israeli troops caused his unexpected death. Billal Bana’a a photographer who was with Nazeh relates the following eyewitness testimony to Nazeeh’s last moments.

“When the clashes begun this morning we went together to the area. We were five journalists. When we became in danger, Nazeeh by himself decided to go to a safer area near the Nablus library. Nazeeh who was wearing clearly marked press vests also came up to one of the soldiers and told him in Arabic, English and Hebrew that he was a member of the press. The soldier didn’t object. When we saw that he was safe at the entrance of the Kalabna home, we joined him. Just before he was hit with a bullet to the head, Nazeeh was calling on to the other journalists to be careful. The bullet hit him in the head. It must have come from a sniper.”

Nazeeh 44, is the seventh Palestinian journalist to die in this intifada. He leaves behind a wife and five children. I shall miss him and his quite manners, his faith in the good of all people and his ever-present smile.

No responses yet

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.