Set in the near future, two businessmen – an Israeli and a Palestinian – forge an unlikely joint venture partnership to create a solar energy company. Originally motivated by the prospect of making a profit, they eventually come to trust and respect one another. They struggle through criticism and hostility from their families and communities, overcoming considerable obstacles. Eventually they recognize that their business venture cannot succeed unless there is peace. The existence of the film itself is a testament to unlikely partnerships and common ground, since it was made by Sameh Zoabi, a Palestinian director, and Amir Harel, an Israeli producer, with support from a cast of Palestinian and Israeli actors.
Under the Same Sun was broadcast on Israeli Channel 2 and on the Palestinian Ma'an Network on October 2nd. Read article from the Jerusalem Post. The film was recently shown in the Woodstock Film Festival, where it received the audience honorable mention award, and at the annual J Street Conference, where a member of the audience said...."thank you for showing me the moment I've dreamed of all my life."
It will be shown at the Mediterranean Film Festival in France on November 1st.
Watch the trailer of Under The Same Sun: A trailer can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S8EpU5HPRI.
Ghaith Al-Omari is Executive Director at the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP). He has held various positions within the Palestinian Authority, including Director of the International Relations Department in the Office of the Palestinian President, and advisor to former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. He has extensive experience in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, having been an advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team throughout the permanent status negotiations (1999–2001). In that capacity, he participated in various negotiating rounds, most notably the Camp David summit and the Taba talks. After the breakdown in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, he was the lead Palestinian drafter of the Geneva Initiative, an unofficial model peace agreement negotiated between leading Palestinian and Israeli public figures. Mr. al-Omari is a lawyer by training and a graduate of Georgetown and Oxford universities. He taught international law in Jordan and was active in human rights advocacy.
Steven Krubiner is Chief of Staff of J Street. Steven has spent the past decade working on Middle East conflict resolution including nearly five years in Israel. Steven was J Street’s Director of Israel and International Programs and oversaw efforts to highlight the significant support that exists in Israel for a two-state solution. At the Institute for Inclusive Security, Steven worked with Israeli and Palestinian women leaders on designing inclusive peace and security processes. Prior to that, Steven worked for Search for Common Ground in Jerusalem where he was one of the coordinators of the Madrid+15 conference, convening officials and civil society leaders from the Middle East, Europe, the US, and the UN to strategize on launching a regional, comprehensive approach to resolving Arab-Israeli conflicts. A trained mediator, Steven holds a bachelors degree from Tufts University in International Relations, a masters degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Middle Eastern Studies, and is earning ans MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
John Marks is the Founder and President of Search for Common Ground and Common Ground Productions. He wrote and produced The Shape of the Future, a four-part TV documentary series that was simulcast on Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab satellite TV. John is Executive Producer of Under the Same Sun. He is also executive producer of The Team, a TV and radio series produced in 18 different countries, as well as numerous other TV and radio programs. John is a Skoll Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship and holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Peace in Costa Rica. He served as a US Foreign Service Officer and as Executive Assistant to the late US Senator Clifford Case. A graduate of Cornell University, John was a Fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School. He is an award-winning author and a Senior Ashoka Fellow.
About This Forum
Since 1999, the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Forum (CPRF) has provided a monthly platform in Washington for highlighting innovative and constructive methods of conflict resolution. CPRF’s goals are to (1) provide information from a wide variety of perspectives; (2) explore possible solutions to complex conflicts; and (3) provide a secure venue for stakeholders from various disciplines to engage in cross-sector and multi-track problem-solving. The CPRF is co-sponsored by a consortium of organizations that specialize in conflict resolution and/or public policy formulation.