Goal Dreams

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Goal Dreams is a 2006 documentary by Maya Sanbar and Jeffrey Saunders, about the Palestinian national football team preparing for the 2006 World Cup qualifiers.


Goal Dreams is about personal and national identity as seen through a football team like no other. With players of multiple nationalities, speaking different languages and without a home field, the Palestine national football team and its players must overcome obstacles of a physical, emotional, cultural and geographic nature just to exist. The film chronicles the lives of four Palestinian players hailing from different parts of the world during the team's preparation for their most important World Cup 2006 qualification match.


Alfred Riedl Austrian coach who was hired by the Palestinian FA to train the national team. He faces frustration caused by injured players and language barriers since there are players from Gaza, West Bank, Chile, Sweden and United States in the team. He is also frustrated by the fact that the players from Gaza cannot leave the strip since the Rafah-borders are closed by Israel despite the players having special permission from FIFA.

Morad Fareed a Palestinian-American who grew up in a Jewish neighbourhood in New York. Despite the US support for Israel he loves both countries and shares both western and Arab values. The fact that the team cannot always practice together and that some translations are incorrect frustrates him.

Roberto Kettlun born in Chile to a Palestinian Chilean father and plays for CD Palestino who represent the Arab community of Chile. He speaks both Spanish and English but Kettlun faces many problems with what he describes as "the arab reality" which means a more cruel reality, new language, culture and weather. He is one of coach Riedl's trusted players since he translates for the Spanish-speaking Palestinians.

Ramzi Saleh the national team's goalkeeper who comes from the Gaza strip and wants to play for a club outside Palestine. The Israeli government's isolation of Gaza makes it difficult to play and he has to be away for a long time when leaving his home so he can provide his family with the basic necessities. He is fully devoted to representing the team as a player and ambassador.

Rami El-Hassan: Palestinian refugee who lives in Lebanon and has a dream of leaving the country since Palestinians are practically homeless according to him. The refugees are prohibited from working in some areas and cannot apply for Lebanese citizenship. During the documentary he struggles with an injury and hopes that he can play for Palestine despite the problems.


Maya Sanbar and Jeffrey Saunders planned to make a documentary about the Palestinian national football team without involving politics. But they faced the fact that it was not possible since the team is affected by politics.[citation needed] The film crew interview and follow the team from their training camp in Ismailia, Egypt. The film crew also travelled to Great Britain, Chile, Lebanon, Gaza and the USA talking to the people involved in the Palestinian national team.

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