The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker
The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker “, an award winning book written by Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe.
Click here to listen to the review of “The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker”.
ICERM Radio Book Review Program, March 9, 2014.
Host: Maurice Q. Robinson, Esq., PHR.
Guest and Author: Jen Marlowe.
We are thrilled to announce the review of “The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker”, an award winning book written by Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe.
Synopsis of The Hour of Sunlight:
As a teenager, Sami Al Jundi had one ambition: overthrowing Israeli occupation. With two friends he formed a militant cell and began building a bomb to use against the Israeli police. But their plans were derailed when the bomb exploded prematurely, killing one of his friends. Sami was sentenced to ten years in prison.
The Hour of Sunlight describes Sami’s extraordinary metamorphosis from a militant to a passionate advocate of nonviolence and peaceful reconciliation. Born to a family of Palestinian refugees in the Old City of Jerusalem, Sami was only five years old when Israeli soldiers took over his home after the 1967 war. His family began life again as refugees in another part of the Old City. In moving detail Sami describes how these and other realities (and indignities) of his early years caused his radicalization.
Following his arrest, Sami was bound and tortured for weeks by the Israeli General Security Service before beginning his ten-year prison sentence. Ironically, it was in an Israeli jail that his personal transformation began: Sami was welcomed into a highly organized, democratic community of political prisoners who required that members of their cell read, engage in political discourse on topics ranging from global revolutions to Russian literature.
In the prison library, Sami found a book on Mahatma Gandhi. He was struck by one story in particular—a Hindu man who had murdered a Muslim baby came to Gandhi seeking repentance. Gandhi told him that there was one way that he could find peace again; he must raise a Muslim orphan for twenty years. It took two decades to build a life, Sami reflected, but only seconds to destroy one.
Sami left prison still determined to fight for his people’s rights—but with a very different notion of how to undertake that struggle. He discovered the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence, and later became supervisor of an Israeli-Palestinian coexistence center in Jerusalem. He kept his faith in reconciliation alive through the most difficult times, remaining determined to inspire a new generation to follow the path of peace and nonviolence.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jen Marlowe is a Seattle-based award-winning author/documentary filmmaker/playwright and human rights activist.
Jen Marlowe is a Seattle-based award-winning author/documentary filmmaker/playwright and human rights activist. Jen began her professional life working at Seattle Children’s Theatre; from 1994-2000, she did youth theatre work in Seattle, using theatre as a platform for students to tell their stories. Jen lived and worked in Jerusalem from 2000-2004, using some of these same techniques to engage in dialogue-based conflict resolution with Palestinian and Israeli teenagers. Jen also did conflict resolution work with youth in Afghanistan, Cyprus, India, Pakistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was while working with youth in conflict areas that she first picked up a video camera—at that time, in order to record messages being exchanged between Israeli and Palestinian youth. As the youth themselves pushed the video dialogue project to more complex realms, Jen began to explore the idea of how film can be used, not only as a tool of dialogue, but also as a tool of activism. In 2004, with colleagues Adam Shapiro and Aisha Bain, Jen traveled to Northern Darfur and Eastern Chad to make the award-winning documentary film Darfur Diaries: Message from Home and wrote the accompanying book Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival (Nation
Books, 2006). Darfur Diaries was included in the 2007 edition of the Best American Non-Required Reading, edited by Dave Eggers.
Jen’s second feature-length award-winning documentary is called Rebuilding Hope: Sudan’s Lost Boys Return Home. Rebuilding Hope follows three Sudanese-American young men on their first homecoming trip back to Sudan, to discover whether their homes and families survived the civil war and to build a school, drill wells and bring medical supplies to their villages in Sudan. Jen’s second book, calledThe Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker (Nation Books, 2011), is co-authored with and tells the story of Sami Al Jundi, a Palestinian man who spent ten years in Israeli prison for being involved in militant anti-occupation activities as a youth and who has spent the last two decades of his life working towards nonviolence and peaceful reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.The Hour of Sunlight was the winner of the London-based Middle East Monitor’s Palestine Book Award in 2012. Jen is also the playwright of There is a Field. The play, which addresses issues faced by Palestinian citizens of Israel, launched globally in October 2010, marking the ten-year anniversary of Black October. Jen’s third award-winning documentary film, One Family in Gaza profiles one family’s experience during and after the 2009 assault on the Gaza Strip. Jen’s most recent book is I Am Troy Davis (Haymarket Books, 2013), written with Martina Davis-Correia, the sister of innocent death row prisoner Troy Davis whose execution in 2011 stirred world-wide protest and condemnation due to his strong case of innocence. Jen is currently working on a documentary fllm about the pro-democracy uprising in Bahrain. She has also recently filmed in Honduras and Brazil for the human rights organization Frontline Defenders. Jen’s articles about Palestine/Israel, Sudan, Bahrain and the death penalty can be found at The Nation,Progressive, Worldfocus.org, Tomdispatch.com, Yes!, Colorlines and Massachusetts Review. Jen has been the recipient of grants, residencies and fellowships from the Pultizer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Nation Institute Investigative Fund,the Dorot Foundation, Seattle’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Hedgebrook, and the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace & Justice.
More information about “The Hour of Sunlight” and Jen Marlowe is found on this website: http://www.donkeysaddle.org/.