Film on Emirati martyr makes waves

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March 08, 2014 - Gulf Today

DUBAI: The animation movie, Martyr of the Flag, a re-working of the traditional story of Salem Suhail Khamis, the Emirati killed in the Iranian occupied Island of Tunb, has gained currency with two ministries ordering copies of the story.

“The Ministry of Education (MoE) has requested us to provide them the story to be distributed to students,” said the General Director of Watani Al Emarat, Dherar Humaid Belhoul. “It makes us happy and feel proud.”

Belhoul was discussing the film at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature at the Continental Hotel in Dubai on Friday. On the panel were animator, Mohammed Al Fikree and graphic artist, Ali Ahmed Kashwani.

The second ministry is that of Foreign Affairs which “will distribute the story to our embassies around the world.”

Salem Suhail Bin Khamis was shot dead by the Iranian forces when they attacked the Tunb Island, which is affiliated to RAK, on November 30, 1971, just two days before the declaration of the UAE Federation. They are still occupying the three islands. According to the film, he died holding the flag.

Suhail, an Emirati policeman, was among the gallant sons of the soil and other Emirati residents on the Island who resisted the invasion.

“He died crying and his tears were not of fear, but out of pain that he could no longer defend his country and that people may think that he was weak.”

Al Fikree said that the film would be electronically formatted to enable it reach a wider audience.

“We need to amplify this story so as to highlight the role of the martyrs; pay visits to their families in order to enhance the social value of the issue and conduct interviews to get more clarity of the story.” 

Dherar Belhoul who lost a sister during the occupation, told The Gulf Today:“This is a story of courage, valour and loyalty to the nation.”