Is a personal story of a people born into a conflict not of their own personal preference, yet, sadly, have to live with and in it.
Set in Jerusalem immediately after the Arab-Israeli war in 1948 which resulted in the establishment of the independent State of Israel, the movie starts out with Hind Houseini, a Philanthropist Palestinian woman, collecting 55 homeless and orphaned girls from the streets in Jerusalem, to feed and house them. A few months later, she finds herself with nearly 2,000 girls, and thus had to set up an orphanage and boarding school later to be named as the Dar Al-Tifel Institute.
Thirty years later, a 7-year old girl was added to the flock, around whose person the story turns. Known to every one in the Institute as Miral, she was brought in by her father after the death of her mother. She grows up sheltered from the political and ethnic storm just outside the walls of the orphanage. At 17, she had her first personal encounter with the reality of the Palestinian refugee problem. Miral was sent to teach in a refugee camp at the West Bank. She soon discovers for herself the indignities committed by man to fellow man, at a level she never imagined while at the Institute. Both camps – Israeli and Palestinian, it seems, were intent on destroying each other. She was introduced to terrorism perpetrated by people on both sides of the issue, which she doesn’t understand completely. Even her own people, who loathe the so-called “collaborators”, commit atrocities against suspected Palestinians, who, some of those might be just trying to make peace on their own. It’s a totally new experience for Miral, and probably, for most of us far removed from the area of conflict, as well. Green is the color for youthful ignorance, and we see it everywhere.
Later, she befriends a young Jewish peace activist, and together they try to solve the same puzzle that confounds people in conflict areas everywhere in the present world – right now in Libya, a few weeks ago Egypt, and you name it. Names of places keep popping up.
Watch Miral Online is a continuing lesson in contemporary history. There is no dearth for reasons to start wars.