Farah Nabulsi: Palestinian investment banker turned activist filmmaker shines light on Nakba

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Born and raised in the UK to Palestinian parents, Farah Nabulsi studied business in London and became an institutional equity stock broker at JP Morgan Chase before turning to film. (Supplied)
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Born and raised in the UK to Palestinian parents, Farah Nabulsi studied business in London and became an institutional equity stock broker at JP Morgan Chase before turning to film. (Supplied)
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Born and raised in the UK to Palestinian parents, Farah Nabulsi studied business in London and became an institutional equity stock broker at JP Morgan Chase before turning to film. (Supplied)
Updated 15 May 2019

Farah Nabulsi: Palestinian investment banker turned activist filmmaker shines light on Nakba

  • British-Palestinian filmmaker has not looked back since swapping her business suits and briefcases for cameras and film scripts

DUBAI: Farah Nabulsi had started out on a clear career path. Born and raised in the UK to Palestinian parents, she studied business in London and became an institutional equity stock broker at JP Morgan Chase.
But life changed totally, she said, after she visited Palestine and witnessed the everyday indignities that Palestinians endure.
“It hit me like a ton of bricks how colossal this injustice is, and how 1948 is happening right now in the present day,” Nabulsi told Arab News, referring to the exodus of several hundred thousand Palestinians when Israel was established on their homeland.
“That experience and first-hand knowledge changed me. I knew that charity and sympathy were certainly not enough.”

Nabulsi swapped her business suits and briefcases for cameras and film scripts. She took it upon herself to shed light on the injustices meted out to Palestinians since their mass displacement in 1948, known to Palestinians as the Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe).
“With one foot in the West — having been born, raised and educated in London — and the other — my heritage, the blood running through my veins — in Palestine, I recognized the unique and rather powerful position I was in, so I changed the trajectory of my life,” she said.
The change was a big one, but the British-Palestinian filmmaker has not looked back ever since, saying the shift has been “absolutely liberating.”

So far, Nabulsi has made three short films on Palestine. One of them, “Today They Took My Son,” follows a mother as she copes with the trauma of her young son being taken away by the Israeli military.
It was named an Official Selection at the Edinburgh Short Film Festival in 2016, and was a finalist at the International Short Film Competition at the USA Film Festival in 2017.
The other films, “Oceans of Injustice” and “Nightmare of Gaza,” have similar themes of Israeli prejudices against, and abuses of, Palestinians.


“What I do is painful, raw and exhausting. But the satisfaction that I’m doing something with meaning — giving voice to the silenced, playing my part in informing and educating with the aim of ending injustice, and being able to use my creativity and my emotional IQ while doing that — has been a blessing I’m truly grateful for,” Nabulsi said.
“I have children of my own, and the very idea of a child being taken — usually in the middle of the night by armed soldiers, with no parent or adult with them, processed through a military system and subjected to all sorts of abuses — is just insane,” she added. “That (‘Today They Took My Son’) was a film I didn’t choose to make. I had to make it.”

Nabulsi is working on her fourth short film, “The Present,” which features Israeli-Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri.
“It’s a beautiful story of a Palestinian father and his young daughter dealing with the indignities of checkpoints,” she said. “I’m looking forward to completing it and sharing it with the world.”


Egyptian star Tamer Hosny breaks Guinness World Record in Abu Dhabi

Tamer Hosny broke the Guinness World Record for the most contributions to a bulletin board. AFP
Updated 07 December 2019

Egyptian star Tamer Hosny breaks Guinness World Record in Abu Dhabi

  • At an event in the UAE, Egyptian star Tamer Hosny broke the Guinness World Record for the most contributions to a bulletin board
  • The bulletin board was placed in Abu Dhabi's Marina Mall for fans to leave appreciation notes for the artist and was accessible for four days

DUBAI: Egyptian singer and actor Tamer Hosny broke the Guinness World Record for the most contributions to a bulletin board at an event held in the UAE’s Abu Dhabi Marina Mall on Friday. 

“The record to break was 4,900 contributions. Today you achieved 12,086 contributions,” a representative from the organization announced on stage.

“When I was nominated for a Guinness World Record, I was honestly very worried with the title. I withdrew from two previous nominations… With time, and with the persistency of the offer, I felt that something was calling for it,” Hosny told Arab News. 

The bulletin board was placed in Marina Mall for fans to leave appreciation notes for the artist and was accessible for four days.

“To enter the Guinness World Record, you have to go to a country that is not yours… and your fans have to come from all over the world, which is not easy,” Hosny said. “This required a lot of confidence in my fans for them to come from different continents in just four days.

“I used to see comments on social media, but what I saw written on the cards was not like anything I have ever seen before,” Hosny told Arab News. 

Hosny previously earned a Guinness World Record for organizing the biggest blood donation campaign in history, “Pulse of Life.”

“Around three years ago, I led a campaign to serve the Egyptian people… Egypt won the record, not me,” he said.

Dubbed the “King of the Generation” by his fans, Hosny is also a songwriter, a composer and a producer. Before he won, Hosny took to the stage to perform a song he composed in honor of the UAE’s Year of Tolerance. 

The live performance also featured young artists that appeared on the Arabic TV show “The Voice Kids: Ahla Sawt."