HIDDEN BATTLES BLOG

Zachariah Zubeidi has been released

We have received word from the Freedom Theater that Zacharia Zubeidi has been release from custody and is back on the amnesty list. Thanks to all who took action last week!

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Action Alert: The Detention of Zakariah Zubeidi

If you have seen “Hidden Battles,” you are familiar with Zakariah Zubeidi. He is the soft spoken Palestinian man in the film who put down his guns in exchange for Amnesty from the Israeli government. According to Ha Aretz, the Israeli government has rescinded his pardon with no cause and he has been detained. Since his pardon, Zakariah has been working with the Jenin Freedom Theater, a safe space where young people can express themselves through theater instead of violence. Several members of the Freedom Theater have been detained, the theater has been ransacked, and the founder, Juliano Mer Khamis, was murdered in April 2011.

We are concerned about Zakariah’s safety and whereabouts. We also want to know why he is being detained. It is important to take action:

  • call and e-mail the Israeli Embassador to the United States
  • call Israeli and Palestinian officials
  • repost and forward this information

Here is contact information as well as a sample letter you can copy and/or edit:

  • The Israeli district commanding officer: +972 (0)4 6407312
  • Taiseer Shrakah – Palestinian Authourity (PA) representative: +972 (0) 599800009
  • Israeli Embassador to the US, Michael Oren, 202 364 5500 or emb@washington.mfa.gov.il, info@washington.mfa.gov.il

 

Dear Ambassador Oren,

Today I read about the detention of Zakariah Zubeidi, a Palestinian man who was granted Amnesty by the Israeli government in exchange for putting down his guns. He has since worked with the Freedom Theater in Jenin and states that he has not violated the terms of his pardon.  The reason for his detention has not been stated and his location is unknown. I am deeply concerned about Zakariah’s safety and well being and would like a statement to be issued that clarifies the reason for his detention. If no reasonable cause can be stated, I demand the release of Zakariah Zubeidi so he can return to his family and community. I also ask that Israeli forces end harrassment and attack of the Freedom Theater. The Freedom Theater is a safe space for young Palestinian people to express themselves in a non-violent manner and should be respected and protected.

Respectfully,

Name

Address

 

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Veterans and Homelessness – statistics and stories

President Obama has set a noble goal of eradicating homelessness amongst veterans by 2015. On December 13th the Deparment of Veterans affairs announced in a press release that homelessness amongst veterans in the United States has declined by 12% since last year. The VA estimates that 33,597 veterans were housed.

Another report on the topic comes from Tampa Bay Online, that Hillsborough County has housed nearly half of their homeless veterans, even though homelessness in general is on the rise. The CEO of Hillborough County Homeless Coalition suspects that homeless veterans may be under-reporting:

“I think we have some underreporting in the community,” Rayme said, “but there are good programs we are engaged in and the veterans are accessing those services.”

To illustrate these statistics, here’s a story of Bill Stockwell, 61, a homeless veteran who has been living in a mission for the last two years in Battle Creek, MI. After completing life improvement classes, he will qualify to move into federally subsidized housing. Not only are these veterans being housed, they are also receiving the attention they may need to live a more normalized life.

Another homeless veteran, Larry in Houston tells his story about how seeking help for his addiction through the VA turned his life around. He was able to clean up, get off the streets and get a job through personalized care and their Incentive Therapy program. But Larry had to take the first step and ask for help. In his own words:

“I had to admit I had a problem that I could not solve by myself. I knew I had to go somewhere to get a plan of action to stay sober because mine wasn’t working… I hope that one person is going to read this article and say `Let me go down to the Houston VA and see if I can get some help. Because I did, the world was opened up to me.”

It is hopeful to hear that people are getting the help they need. I hope these stories indicate that the VA is prepared to help the influx of troops returning from Iraq.

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Wounded veterans celebrate their “Alive Day”

Check out this story about Ryan Cules, an Iraq Veteran who celebrates the day he didn’t die – his Alive Day – as a means of coping with his loss.

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A thoughtful review in the Times Union (Albany, NY)

Mickie Lynn wrote in the Times Union about her experience watching “Hidden Battles” with an audience at a screening in Delmar, NY:

Documentary maker, Victoria Mills, included scenes and recollections from their original battles and then followed their lives after they returned home. We saw intimate details of their lives at intervals. In every case we came to understand just how deeply their response to killing another human being continued to haunt them…There were two major reactions from audience members who hadn’t gone to war. One was extreme sadness at the suffering of not only the veterans but of their families and those that they loved.

You can read the full article here.

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Watch Hidden Battles Here – Veterans Day Only

This offer is over.

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Hidden Battles streaming for 99cents – Veterans Day (11/11) only!

In honor of Veterans Day we are offering “Hidden Battles” for 99 cents, for one day only. Please help your community take advantage of this offer by forwarding this e-mail to your friends, family, and colleagues.

On Veterans Day (Friday November 11th) from 12:00am -12:00pm you can:

Stream “Hidden Battles” for only 99 cents

or

Purchase a DVD for $15 (more than 50% off)

We’ll release the streaming URL and discount code to our mailing list, Facebook friends and Twitter followers on Thursday.  If you haven’t joined already, go to www.hiddenbattles.com and at the bottom of the page, click on the option that suits you best. You can also share the streaming URL and discount code with your community once it is released.

Please note, that “Hidden Battles” is not generally available for streaming, so take advantage of this special offer!

Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

•••

“Hidden Battles is a powerful testimony to war and it’s effects on those who fight in them. Hidden Battles goes to different parts of the world to reveal the journey of men and women in the fight to find meaning in their war experiences. The world needs to see this film.” – Shad Meshad, Founder, National Veterans Foundation

•••

“Hidden Battles offers inspiring examples of how different veterans coped with and continue to cope with the demons of war. It is a film I have recommended and will continue to recommend to those who work with and care about veterans. Director Victoria Mills lets the veterans speak for themselves, without analytical voiceovers or editorial comments – offering fresh insights into the complex ways war and combat can affect those who survive it, and the impact combat trauma ultimately can have on military families.” – Robert M. Wilson, Executive Director, Veterans Education Project

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Children’s book helps explain PTSD

Carolina Nadel is an illustrator and children’s book author with a background in medicine. Her newest book, “Daddy’s Home” gets straight to the point when it comes to how military children may be understanding their parent’s new behavior after returning from war. The story mirror’s a child’s experience of an easily aggravated father who, after returning from service, disturbs an otherwise stable family life. Perhaps this story will help parents articulate to their children what is happening, and help facilitate open discussion on a difficult topic.

 

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Commonweal Magazine reviews “Hidden Battles”

Here’s a clip of a lovely review of “Hidden Battles” in Commonweal Magazine. Click here to read the full article.

…a quiet, poignant restraint is a key note of Hidden Battles, a graceful study of how the act of killing affects soldiers’ mental health. A recent showpiece on the film festival circuit, Hidden Battles interweaves encounters with five fighters who have experienced long-term repercussions of using lethal force. Sensationalism is virtually absent, war footage aside: the documentary contains no explicit accounts of domestic crises, no interviews with therapists, no solemn voiceovers weighing in on posttraumatic stress disorder. Instead, it suggests emotional and spiritual turmoil by more subdued means…

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Seeking Women Veterans for Parade

Jerry Brunton of North Carolina has teamed up with two other female veterans to form a group called the ‘Women Veterans of Coastal North Carolina’. This year, they hope to increase the presence of women veterans at their local Veterans Day parade.

“We formed this group to be visible in the community,” said Brunton, a Navy veteran. “We’ve kind of been on the sidelines.”

The group formed earlier this year but already has 28 members all working to bring recognition and respect to female veterans. Women Veterans of Costal North Carolina also provides a space for women to discuss their experiences.

“We want to bring women together and share some stories,” she said. “And, they’ve got some great stories.”

If anyone is in the area and interested in participating in the parade, please send an email to womenveteransofcnc2@gmail.com.

Click HERE to read the full article from Havelock News.

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