“Fedayin” screening in Iran highlights case of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah

On Saturday, 30 July, Samidoun Iran screened “Fedayin: Georges Abdallah’s Fight” at the Soura Hall of the Art Gallery in Tehran. The film, made by the Collectif Vacarmes Films in France, highlights the life and struggle of Georges Abdallah, the Lebanese Arab revolutionary and struggler for Palestine imprisoned in France for the past 38 years, despite being eligible for release since 1999.

The film features interviews with several Samidoun members, including international coordinator Charlotte Kates and Europe coordinator Mohammed Khatib, as well as Abdallah’s brothers and lawyer and Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat. The film tells the story of the struggle for liberation in Palestine and Lebanon and the injustice of Abdallah’s imprisonment, including the role of the French and U.S. governments. Even a French court ordered his release, but the French Minister of the Interior refused to sign the order for his deportation, with the complicity and active intervention of U.S. officials, including Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State at that time.

Before the screening of the film, Ms. Elham Abedini, coordinator of Samidoun Iran, welcomed the audience, introducing them to Samidoun’s work and the case of Georges Abdallah, the longest-held political prisoner in Europe.

Ms. Zeinab Farhat, an activist for Palestine from Lebanon, spoke about activities for Palestine in Lebanon and Iran. Farhat pointed out that it surprised her that many Iranian people, contrary to expectations, have little information about the situation of Palestine and the Palestinians. She said that voluntary and popular activities are very important in expanding Palestine support activities in Iran and prevent them from becoming bureaucratic or purely official.

Dr. Mehdi Khanalizadeh, researcher in international relations, also discussed in this meeting the reasons why the issue of Palestine has become more of an official matter than an issue for popular engagement. He emphasized the importance of accurate historical narratives about Zionism and the colonization of Palestine, noting that none of the behavior of the Israeli regime is based on principles of international relations and serves as a hostile military base and colonial project rather than a nation-state. 

The final speech before the screening of the documentary was given by Ms. Hena, an Iranian activist for Palestine who has recently returned to Iran. She discussed her memories of demonstrations in support of Palestine in Western countries and noted that in Iran, due to the high level of official news in Persian-language media, many people view the issue as being addressed by responsible parties, so they do not need to be active in confronting global apartheid or directly supporting the Palestinian people. She noted that the Zionist regime aims at constant expansion as a military and colonial project and must be confronted at all levels, including through popular involvement and organization. 

Organizers then screened a short clip of Samidoun activities in different countries as well as a speech by Mrs. Helyeh Doutaghi, a doctoral student of international law and a member of the international Samidoun Network, prior to the screening of “Fedayin.”

“Fedayin” has been screened in hundreds of cities and venues in France and around the world. The film is available with appropriate subtitles in French, Arabic, English, German, Italian, Catalan, Castilian Spanish, Farsi and Turkish. If you want to show Fedayin in your area, email us at samidoun@samidoun.net and contact the directors at vacarmesfilms@gmail.com.

Samidoun Iran is involved in organizing popular activities in support of Palestine. To learn more about the work of Samidoun Iran, visit them on Twitter and Instagram.