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Ayelet Kait and Amir Harel


Ihab Jadallah


Benjamin Freidenberg

Territory X

Lab Edition



A family drama about married LGBT Palestinians in East Jerusalem and their families, that focuses on Hussam, a gay, Muslim, Palestinian lawyer, a married father of two, who are all in the process of becoming naturalized Israeli citizens, decides along with his wife, to have the secret male lover he’s kept hidden from everyone, move in with them.


The series takes place in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of East Jerusalem that borders Bethlehem to the south and Ramallah to the north. The neighborhood’s streets still aren’t considered Israeli territory. With large unpaved areas and public spaces, and unnumbered homes that don’t appear on the map, the Israeli bulldozers start entering the neighborhood and constructing buildings, erecting signs and opening schools that belong to the Israeli ministry of education. All of this takes place while families and homes are being evicted in order to make way for the new construction plan or having been bought out by Jewish settlers and right-wing organizations. The show focuses on a middle-class Palestinian family that’s at an important crossroads in its life – gaining their Israeli citizenship – when an unexpected drama occurs and catches them unprepared. The show’s main character - Hussam - a civil rights lawyer that represents stateless Palestinian clients, is experiencing the most profound personal crisis of his life. After years of hiding, he tells his wife about his relationship with Fuad, a younger man. Manal, a history school teacher at the Beit Hanina high school, isn’t surprised or distraught by his confession, she’s just concerned with how their extended family, neighbors and community might respond. She finds out that Fuad has been over to their house a few times and that the neighbors saw him, and that there’s a rumor going around that Manal and Fuad are having an affair. In order to refute the rumor, Manal has to act fast. Instead of getting divorced or demanding that Hussam break things off with Fuad, Manal and Hussam welcome him into their home and he moves into the small unit in their backyard, in order to keep their relationship and family intact and to prevent any further gossip. They hide Hussam and Fuad’s relationship and present him as one of Hussam’s clients they decided to provide shelter for as a humanitarian gesture. They enjoy the encouragement and support of their inner circles, but their children, Aadil and Hafza (an 11-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl) catch on to what’s really happening in their family right away. The boy defends his parents and Fuad, while the daughter rebels against their narrative and tries to expose their secret. The family finds out about couples and families that share the same lifestyle; that keep a secret from their surroundings, while one of the parents is either a homosexual man or a lesbian woman. Hussam and Fuad find themselves in the secret LGBT circles of Bethlehem and Ramallah, when their secret is revealed to a closed off group of married Palestinian Lesbians and homosexuals that are married to one another for show, or keep the third member of their relationship within the family. These aren’t young people in their 20s, but people with families in their 30s-50s that didn’t run away from home, or move to Tel Aviv or abroad. The identity turmoil they experience is just one part of a larger complex Palestinian drama that’s contains many voices; in the tension between Christians and Muslims, between nationalists and communists, between revolutionaries, activists and conservatists. The characters’ naturalization process includes a declaration of loyalty to the state of Israel and giving up one identity in favor of another, albeit a more promising and financially secure one. But the absurd political, religious, sexual, nationalistic, personal and collective identity confluence - that forces people to fit into a single fixed category, will manifest in this family drama in comical, absurd and touching scenes, that illuminate the family unit in a new, wild, unique and subversive light




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