Alternate Titles: Habibi Rasak Kharban
Kais Nashif, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Yussef Abu-Warda, Amer Khalil
When Gaza comes under full closure in 2001, two young lovers studying at a university in the West Bank are forced to return home. The lovers Qays and Layla live in Khan Younis—one of the most conservative areas of Gaza. There, a woman’s parents play a major role in the choice of her husband. Dating isn’t custom as it goes beyond the reach of the family. Qays faces the challenge of preparing a marriage proposal to Layla’s family. She lives in the town of Khan Younis he lives in the refugee camp. The town dwellers are of higher social class than the camp residents. Qays must provide Layla’s family with a dowry, a house for him and his bride to live in, and a wedding. As a college student from the camp, Qays has none of these things. Surrounding the lovers is an atmosphere in which Palestinian resistance and Israeli reaction escalates. A key subplot follows Layla’s brother as he joins Hamas. While he and others focus on the resistance movement, Qays focuses on reaching Layla. He graffitis love poetry to her all over the walls of their town. While graffiti is popular in Gaza, the writing mainly honors the dead and political causes. The love poetry causes scandal Layla’s name is on everyone’s lips. Her parents seek to marry her and rescue her reputation. Layla’s brother and his friends seek to cast the poet out of Khan Younis. Layla takes action to find Qays. Can she rescue their fate as lovers?