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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Ottawa, Sept 7: Frontiers of Dreams and Fears: Film Screening and Discussion with Mai Masri

Frontiers of Dreams &Fears: The First Screening in North America of Mai
Masri's Documentary

Film Screening and Discussion with Mai Masri on Friday September 7th, 2001,
at 7:00 p.m. At The Ottawa Public Library (Auditorium) at 120 Metcalf (at

Mai Masri's new documentary Frontiers of Dreams and Fears shatters the
fašade of faceless violence in the news and reveals what lies beneath the

CEPAL will proudly host filmmaker Mai Masri in Ottawa to present her new
documentary Frontiers of Dreams and Fears for the first time in North
America. Masri has directed and produced several award-winning documentaries
which were broadcast on more than 100 television stations around the world
including BBC, Channel Four, PBS, France 2, SBS, YLE, MBC and NHK.

The majority of Masri's films such as Children of Fire (1990) and Wild
flowers: Women of South Lebanon (1986) focus on Palestinian women and
children living under occupation and in refugee camps. Mai Masri's new
documentary Frontiers is a powerful testimony to the lives of children from
two Palestinian refugee camps: Shatila, in Beirut, and Dheishah in the West
Bank. Through emotional correspondence, the children succeed in defying the
barriers imposed on them and build lasting friendships. Frontiers was
produced in association with the Independent Television Service with funding
provided for by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The documentary will be screened at 7:00 p.m., followed by an open
discussion with Mai Masri.

CEPAL - the Canadian-Palestinian Educational Exchange - is a not-for-profit
organization founded in 1996 by young Canadians who share a deep commitment
to the respect of human dignity and human rights of all people.  CEPAL's
objective is to assist the Palestinian refugees in the pursuit of their
basic human rights by increasing their access to education and by raising
public awareness in Canada about their struggle.  In Canada, CEPAL works in
cooperation with a wide range of organizations such as the Centre for
Developing Areas Studies at McGill University. CEPAL is supported by
community organizations and individuals who donate their time and money.

Why Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon? The situation that confronts
Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon is worsening daily. As much of the world
focuses on the difficulties facing Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza,
an even more dire situation of the Palestinian Diaspora in Lebanon is
largely forgotten.  Poverty, health crises and illiteracy are all on the
rise among Palestinians in Lebanon. Over 60 percent of Palestinian families
in Lebanon are living below the UN-established poverty-line, and they form a
greater percentage of UN-defined "hardship cases" than any other Palestinian
community (including Gaza).   A recent survey of war-widows in the Bourj
el-Barajneh camp, which contains a very high number of female-headed
households, revealed that nearly 80 percent of women are illiterate.  Nearly
every school is operating on double shifts, and 40 percent of the
Palestinian refugee population in Lebanon is now considered illiterate.  In
spite of this reality, most donor agencies believe that the Palestinian
issue in Lebanon is being "solved" and have been channeling their assistance
to the West Bank and Gaza.  As the Palestinian population in Lebanon sinks
further into political oblivion, they are leaderless and voiceless, stranded
in refugee camps that have poor running water and sporadic electricity.

Please direct all enquiries to Mohamad Barakat,  tel: (613) 236-7825,
e-mail: cepal@cyberus.ca

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