Love & Intimacy


A video series by CPS x LIFTA <3



As part of 'Palestine, IN-BETWEEN', we present the LOVE & INTIMACY video series. Over the course of the next several weeks, we’ll be releasing short films that center intergenerational outlooks on love and intimacy in Palestine and the diaspora, with discussions highlighting—but not limited to— disconnects, desires, relationships, trauma, teaching, learning, and beyond. This series includes intimate interviews and conversations held between Palestinians who share a close relationship, including old friends, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, lovers, cousins, and more.

Conversations explore what has been inherited and what is being shed, as well as the ways in which taking care of ourselves and each other is to care for the collective—now and into the future. Dialogue moves beyond topics of love in the human-to-human sense, extending to the deep connections one shares with an object, time, smell, memory, land, and ritual.

We’d like to thank all who participated in this series for your time, energy, and openness. The videos are also made available on YouTube. Intro graphic by Ashay Bhave, @slum__prince.

Videos will be released weekly.








WEEK 5:




MARAH + HAFSA:

In this episode, we meet Marah, 21, and Hafsa, 93. In this video, Marah interviews her grandmother Hafsa, who she grew up living with in the United States. They discuss Hafsa’s beliefs around love being present in the connection between land and happiness, love in the routines of caring for and tending to fig and olive trees, the wealth of simplicity, and her favorite memories of Palestine. Together, they share how love is taught and passed down and the ways Marah has learned Palestine, and love as an extension, through her grandmother. This interview took place in El Paso, Texas.





SHARON + LILLY:

In this episode, we meet sisters Lilly, 23, and Sharon, 25. Lilly and Sharon are Palestinian-Americans who are based in Haifa. In this video, they interview each other and discuss how experiencing racism as Palestinians in ’48 has inspired their need to love themselves, discovering yourself within your identity, the diversity of Palestinianness and the importance of individuality, learning better communication through quarantine, listening as a form of love, and deconstructing the taboo that love is reserved for marriage.





NAYROUZ + SERENE:

In this episode, we meet Serene, 41, and Nayrouz, 39. Serene and Nayrouz met eight years ago through a mutual friend at Beit Zatoun in Toronto, a Palestinian cultural center that’s since shut down. While the two grew up in different countries, they share a historical connection to Marj Ibn Amer. In this interview, they discuss nostalgia as a curse, nostalgia as a result of love, solidarity between Palestinians and indigenous communities in Canada, finding fulfillment in one another, learning the diversity of love through the global pandemic, differences and similarities in their Palestinianness, and the ways that carrying an Israeli passport isolates you from connecting with people in countries across the Middle East.





TAMARA + FAIZA:

In this episode, we meet Tamara, 26, and her mother, Faiza, 64. Tamara grew up between the US and Palestine, while her mother has lived most of her life in Palestine. They are both based in Chicago, where this interview takes place. They discuss Tamara’s learned confidence from Faiza, sincerity in expression, Tamara finding love in someone who doesn’t tick all the boxes, maintaining independence when in love, hybrid identity, processing 9/11 as a Palestinian, and Palestinian identity relating more to living with principles than living in the past.





WEEK 4:





AYA + NADA:

In this episode, we meet Aya, 22, and Nada, 22. Aya is a Palestinian-American who grew up in the US and Jordan, and Nada is Palestinian-Emirati and grew up in the UAE. The duo met at NYU Abu Dhabi, where this interview takes place. Interviewing each other, they discuss how you know you're Palestinian if you've never been, the decision and narrative around removing the hijab, reputation as a limitation of love, how community love and independence complement each other, prioritizing mental health, chosen family, and pleasure beyond sexual satisfaction.





NADA + HANNA:

In this episode, we meet Nada, 24, and Hana, 24. Nada and Hana grew up in Amman together and share a 16-year friendship. Interviewing each other, they discuss being Palestinian and never having visited Palestine, claiming their Palestinianness in diaspora, the challenges of finding community outside of Jordan, the hardest part of themselves to love, confronting pain and discomfort to heal generational trauma, and how their families view love and intimacy across generations.






WEEK 3:






ELIE + JUSTIN:

In this episode, we meet Justin, 33, and Elie, 71. Born in Palestine, Elie is the father of Justin and a Zen Buddhist priest and clinical psychologist. Justin is a filmmaker currently living in Los Angeles, where this interview took place. They discuss listening as the vessel of love, trauma and moving toward Buddhism as a Palestinian, how to better reciprocate love, where Elie's love and tenderness come from, being raised fatherless and becoming a father, and maintenance of the mind and relationships for a more healthy and full life.




LEENA +NOUR

In this episode, we meet Leena, 24, and Nour, 26. Leena is an Egyptian-Palestinian who grew up in Kuwait and Baltimore and lives in Amman. Nour is a Palestinian-American raised in Michigan who now splits her time between Chicago and Detroit. The two met in Washington D.C. through a mutual friend. They discuss grief as a collective and individual experience, building a relationship through sharing their visions, reimagined memory, the value of mercy, taking life in increments, and the connection between landscape and navigating selfhood.




CONSTANTINO + MARCELO

In this episode, we meet Constantino, 36, and Marcelo, 31. Constantino and Marcelo are cousins and first-generation Palestinians in Santiago, Chile. They discuss their position as Palestinians in Chile, why their diaspora community differs from others, maintaining their identity and culture, the pigeonholing of Palestinian-ness, nuclear family, visiting Palestine for the first time, and inherited traits from their parents. This video was translated from Spanish to English by Karime Sierra.







WEEK 2:





YASMIN + ALA’EDDIN:

In this episode, we meet Yasmin, 23, and her father, Ala'eddin, 53. Yasmin is Palestinian-Lebanese and grew up in Lebanon, Switzerland, and the US. Ala'eddin lives in Shanghai and Yasmin is based in New York City. In this conversation, they discuss the lessons they've learned from each other, poetry as a higher form of human expression, wholeness as an impossible utopia, the struggle to release, and humor and its cultural significance.





HASHEEMAH + LINA:

In this episode, we meet Lina, 25, and Hasheemah, 27. Lina is based in Surda, Palestine and Hasheemah is living in New Orleans, Louisiana. They met in a calculus class more than ten years ago and have remained friends since. In this episode, they discuss the concept of romance and multiple soulmates, falling in love with and finding a home in friends, learning boundaries through each other, the importance of showing up, being a good friend despite geographical distance, seeing love in a collective form, and giving as a love language.





NOEL + LAYAN:

In this episode, we meet Noel, 26, and Layan, 31. Noel is based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Layan lives in Montreal. The pair met through Instagram two years ago, though they describe their relationship as one that evokes the feeling of ‘kicking it with an old friend’. In this conversation, they discuss memes as a love language, navigating and accepting a multilayered identity, finding community through social media, making space for dialogue around trauma and the mundane, the gaps between their own healing processes and their parents, and how their friendship helps them to validate themselves and their experiences.







WEEK 1:






MAIS + LARA:

In this episode, we meet Lara, 41, and Mais, 33. Lara and Mais share a five-year friendship and live in Dubai. Championing the power of self-love, together, they reflect on personal milestones when considering their evolving relationship with their heritage and the process of discovering one’s self through being Palestinian. They discuss Palestine as a forbidden love, and how social media has given the Palestinian cause more visibility and created a stronger sense of identity in younger generations.




LANA + JENAN

In this episode, we meet Lana, 25, and Jenan, 25. Lana and Jenan are based in the UAE and met as teenagers during their ‘Tumblr days’ and share a nine-year friendship. Interviewing each other, they discuss the ways in which their beliefs feel close to or far from their elders and the unique ways that their parents show love. Jenan and Lana speak on how their Palestinianness is similar and different, Palestinian identity in the US versus the UAE, growing into adulthood together, love languages at home, freeing themselves from guilt, and how they build each other.




LAITH + LAYLA

In this episode, we meet Layla, 24, and Laith, 23. Layla is based in Portland, Oregon, and Laith is based in Los Angeles, California. The pair met a year ago through the internet, making contact with the desire to connect with a fellow Palestinian-American. Though they’ve never met in person, they share a bond that is deep and familiar. In this conversation, they discuss assimilation as a survival tactic, racism in US mainstream media and how it discourages a proud Arab identity, and the path to defining themselves as Palestinians.