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A Crack in the Wall: Bassam Aramin and Rami Elhanan


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‘When they see us [together], this puts the first crack in the wall. A little light comes in. No one can listen to us and remain the same.’ – Rami Elhanan

Both Bassam Aramin and Rami Elhanan have lost children to violence in the conflict between Palestine and Israel. Aramin is a Palestinian academic who spent seven years in an Israeli jail for his role in the Palestinian resistance. Elhanan is an Israeli graphic designer who served in the Israeli Army as a young man.

On the first day of the school year in 1997, Elhanan’s daughter, Smadar, was killed by two Palestinian suicide bombers. In 2007, Aramin’s 10-year-old daughter, Abir, was killed by Israeli border police in front of her school.

United by this shared grief, Aramin and Elhanan’s supported each other in healing from unimaginable loss. Their moving story has been shared around the world, and was the inspiration for Colum McCann’s Booker-Prize-longlisted novel Apeirogon.

Now, for the first time, the pair will appear together in Australia to share their powerful story of loss, personal empathy and peace, hosted by Sally Warhaft.

Presented in partnership with Plus61J Media

This event is supported by the Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund, a Victorian Government and City of Melbourne partnership.


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Bassam Aramin

Bassam Aramin was sent to Israeli prison as a 17-year-old for his role in the Palestinian resistance. He spent seven years there, and eventually started questioning the value of armed resistance. Several years after his release, he co-founded ‘Combatants for Peace’. He has refused to pic... Read more

Rami Elhanan

Rami Elhanan is a 7th generation Jerusalemite graphic designer. He identifies himself as a Jew, an Israeli, and before everything else, a human being. On the first day of the school year in 1997, Rami’s daughter, Smadar, was killed by two Palestinian suicide bombers who murdered 5 people that ... Read more

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians’ lives in the fog of ... Read more


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