Arna Mer-Khamis

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Arna Mer-Khamis

Arna Mer-Khamis (20 March 1929 – 15 February 1995)[1] was an Israeli Jewish political and human rights activist. In 1993, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for "passionate commitment to the defence and education of the children of Palestine."


Arna Mer was born in 1929, in Rosh Pinna, at the time Mandate Palestine.[1] Mer's father was Gideon Mer, a Lithuanian-born Jewish scientist who pioneered the study of malaria during the British Mandate.[2] Mer fought with the Palmach and Israel Defense Forces during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Mer married Saliba Khamis, a Christian Arab and a prominent member of Maki and had three sons: Spartacus, Juliano (who adopted the name Juliano Mer-Khamis), and Abir.[3] Juliano, an actor, filmmaker, and peace activist who was murdered in 2011, directed the film Arna's Children about Mer's work with the Freedom Theatre.

Political activism[edit]

Mer was an active member of the Communist party in Israel. During the First Intifada, as part of a project to support the education of children in the West Bank, she established the organisation In the Defence of Children under Occupation/Care and Learning, and later established the Freedom Theatre in Jenin refugee camp.


In 1993, Mer was awarded the Right Livelihood Award. In her acceptance speech, Arna Mer-Khamis expressed her sympathy for Palestinian refugee children and their sufferings.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Arna Mer-Khamis". Arna-Active memorial site. June 2002. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  2. ^ Actor Juliano Mer-Khamis gunned down in Jenin Jerusalem Post, 4 April 2011
  3. ^ Birenberg, Yoav (6 April 2011). "Juliano Mer's final curtain call". Ynetnews. Many of the jolts and tribulations experienced by the three brothers stem from their childhood as the sons of an Arab intellectual father Saliba Khamis and a Jewish mother, Arna Mer, a relentless idealist who joined 'Maki' (the Israeli Communist Party).
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-11-19. Retrieved 2007-10-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]