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July 7th, 2009
Heart of Jenin
Epilogue: Where Are They Now?

Here’s an update on Ismael Khatib and the three children featured in the film whose lives were saved by Khatib’s decision to donate his son’s organs. Ahmed’s organs were donated to six people in total, including the three pictured below, plus an Israeli woman and teenage girl who chose not to appear in the film, and eight-month-old Osher, who did not survive the transplant.

Ismael Khatib

After the death of his son Ahmed, Ismael Khatib opened the Ahmed Khatib Center for Peace to provide children from the Jenin refugee camp with an alternative to life on the streets. A filmmaking course became one of the center’s most popular programs, but there was no place to show the films that the children produced.

With the help of Heart of Jenin filmmaker Marcus Vetter, Khatib launched an effort to restore and reopen Cinema Jenin, a movie theater that had been closed since 1987, to provide such a venue.

The children at the center have already started rebuilding the cinema. They hope to show their first films in the new theater later this summer. Click here to see some of their films.

Samah Gadban

Samah is now in 10th grade at the local high school in her small village of Pkiin in northern Israel. She still has routine checkups at the same hospital, the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah-Tikva, but has not had any major complications from the heart transplant and continues to be healthy and strong.

Mohamed Kabua

Mohamed is now in 2nd grade at a school in his Bedouin village in the Negev Desert in Israel. He remains a very active boy, helping his father on their farm and in their small rural home.

Menuha Rivka Levinson

Menuha Rivka is now in 2nd grade in Jerusalem. She has occasional check-ups at the Hadasa Ein-Karem Hospital in Jerusalem, but remains healthy.

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