Harry Fear was in Kuala Lumpur to give a series of talks on the Palestine conflict as part of his world tour. His trip to Malaysia was organised by Viva Palestina Malaysia and it proved to be a very successful one as reported in The Star http://archives.thestar.com.my/search/?q=harry+fear
“If possible, visit Gaza.” These are the words of British independent journalist Harry Fear (pic), urging people to see for themselves what life is like in the embattled area in Palestine.
“Generally people don’t know what it is like for the Palestinians,” said Fear, 23, who is on a talking world tour to raise awareness about the situation in Palestine.
Malaysia is his seventh stopover after Britain, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Canada and the United States.
“Gaza doesn’t get a lot of attention on the ground, in comparison to the West Bank,” he said, adding that there were four things that people could do – visit Gaza if they can, help raise awareness, make sure the conflict is represented in domestic politics and boycott corporations that support the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
Fear has been living in Gaza since May last year. He posted online daily reports and videos from inside Palestine during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defence, the seven-day operation in November and spoke against biases of the western media.
Fear, whose work often puts him in physical danger said there was such widespread dehumanisation of Muslims and Arabs, and just people who are poor.
His work is funded by people all over the world who follow his work and want to support it.
“I’m a people’s journalist. My expenses are paid by people from all over the world.
“I do everything for free. This is my philosophy. It is so important for me to be independent. Otherwise, it would be psychologically impossible for me to do what I do,” he said.
The only child of a photographer and a stage actress, Fear grew up in Oxfordshire and studied politics and economics in college. At 16, he became aware of the urgency of global conflicts after reading award-winning Australian journalist John Pilger’s book Freedom Next Time.
“The Palestinians are extremely humane, particularly in terms of hospitality and openness. It’s very striking.
“These are people who are being bombed, they have lost their land and identity, yet they are very good human beings. The people who are being oppressed and silenced, made faceless and voiceless, are so amazing that it gives you the drive to continue helping them get their faces and voices back,” he said.
To view the original article in The Star, click here:
27 Jan 2013, Harry gave a talk at the Alam Shah Science School to a full house crowd. Thank you to all the teachers and all the students who attended the talk.
Article from the New Starits times
'Everyone needs to help Palestinians'
MORAL RESPONSIBILITY: Global society must care about Gaza conflict, says journalist
SOCIETY is in danger of turning into one in which its people only care about themselves and their families, but not about the global community at large.
Independent British journalist Harry Fear, who gained acclaim for his reporting on the plight of the Palestinians, said all the main religions in the world preached about taking responsibility.
"The world has become so small that society at this age is a global society. We have the responsibility to care about what is happening in Gaza.
"Every individual has the moral responsibility to do their part for the Palestinians," he told the New Straits Times yesterday.
Fear said the global community could help in small ways, such as boycotting corporations that condoned violence.
He also said the felt morally obligated to provide a true account of what actually happened in Gaza.
"People find it disgusting and unacceptable when they know what is happening there.
"I did not have to give any analysis of the situation there. I just gave a reliable and continuous live stream of experiences and noises so that people would really feel like they are there.
"It feels personal, which makes them more willing to do something to make (the violence) stop."
Fear chose to stay in Gaza to report the conflict even though he was well aware of its dangers.
"If I had left, it would have been an unacceptable message. Being there as an international increases the security of the Palestinians.
"It is less likely for the Israelis to strike when there is international presence."
Fear, who is also a filmmaker and human rights advocate, is on a world tour to spread awareness on the Palestinian conflict and share his experiences.
Click here for the original article:
'Everyone needs to help Palestinians' - General - New Straits Timeshttp://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/everyone-needs-to-help-palestinians-1.209320?cache=03%3Fkey%3Dkuala+lumpur%2F7.196217%3Fpage%3D0%2F7.281901%2F7.283795%2F7.283795%2F7.283795#ixzz2JM3lRARh
28 Jan 2013, Another successful talk at KGPA
29 Jan 2013, Talk at University Selangor
1 Feb 2013, Talk in Malacca
Harry Fear on TV Al-Hijrah and Radio Ikim. He also appeared on Astro Awani, NTV7 and BFM.
Listen to his interview on Rdio Ikim by clicking:
Watch him on NTV7 by clicking:
Ckick here for Harry Fear podcast on BFM:
30 Jan 2013, Presentation at Khazanah Berhad
Article in Life & Times
16 February 2013
Young documentary maker and activist Harry Fear is driven by the desire to quash apathy in people, writes Intan Maizura Ahmad Kamal
WITH his youthful good looks, easy charm and the best of Brit eloquence, he probably wouldn't look out of place in a boy band like One Direction or other flavour du jour. Just like band members Harry, Niall, Zayn et al, this Harry also has his share of girls banging at his hotel room door to get better "acquainted".
But Harry Fear, the young English documentary maker and activist who was recently in the country — hosted by NGO group Viva Palestina Malaysia — for a series of talks to raise awareness for the Palestinian plight, isn't interested in pop star adulation. As he puts it: "I don't do what I do (make documentaries) because it's fun, artistic or sexy; I make it because it matters, it's useful.
But having pop star adulation does have its perks, concedes Fear, the newly popular news correspondent who became known to the world from his trip to the Gaza Strip in November last year. There, he provided footage and firsthand account from Operation Pillar of Cloud, as the Israeli Defence Forces advanced on Palestine throughout the eight-day conflict.
"On the one hand, it's important to stop people from thinking that I'm special because at the end of the day, I'm just a normal guy. But on the other hand, it's important to milk people's prejudices for the benefit of Gaza. I try to make people interested in Gaza. People have said to me, 'You make it look cool to know about the war. You make it look attractive to be an expert on this.' I don't try to make it cool. It just happens."
Continuing, he adds: "I can't help the fact that I'm a young, white, non-religious man from a privileged background ...these things all contribute to the way that I'm treated. To an extent you have to exploit this for the better good."
Although the current uprising in Gaza has reached a ceasefire, Fear continues to bring his poignant insights from his time spent in the occupied territory. At the end of last year, he was in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria speaking at all sorts of venues including churches, universities and schools and doing various radio, TV and press interviews. His visit to Malaysia is part of the second leg of his World Talking Tour about Israel's aggression on Gaza, which also includes countries such as Canada, USA, Qatar, UK, Ireland, Egypt, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.
How it began
"I remember as a teenager watching coverage of the Iraq war on the BBC and thinking how was it possible that they were treating it like it was just a normal day. They were basically normalising what was happening, there was no gravity or profundity so you didn't feel the reality of what was happening," begins the 20-something, the son of a professional photographer dad and actress mother.
It was this realisation that triggered his desire to seek alternative information and got him onto a new route. And on this new route, he learnt a lot about how the world actually works.
"When I was about 17 or 18, I read a book called Freedom Next Time by award-winning journalist, John Pilger. A particular chapter about the humiliation of Palestinians in the West Bank and the occupation there left a psychological scar on me that meant that I was always aware of the quality and brutality of the treatment of the Palestinians."
But his knowledge was still kind of abstract, admits Fear. It was emotionally scarred, yes, but it was still abstract.
"I didn't know enough," he says. "I didn't feel the general nature of the problem. I did start trying to defend the Palestinians in conversations and discourse and raising awareness though at this early age."
Over time he became more involved not only in journalism, documentary making, and campaigning, but also volunteering for charities, legal organisations, NGOs etc, including in Israel, the UK and France.
It was around November 2009 that Fear escalated his involvements, attending talks by Palestinians and other internationals that had been in the West Bank who shared their stories of the imprisonment and torture of Palestinian children in Israeli dungeons. "Within three months, I was in Israel for the first time, and by January 2010, I was in the West Bank for the first time, and later in East Jerusalem for the first time. This was the beginning of something proactive."
By this time, confides Fear, he was aware of the dynamics, but still didn't feel connected to it all in a passionate way. "Looking back, I naively thought that I could be objective or neutral because I'm not religious, I'm not Christian, I'm not Muslim. And because I was a western, white guy going that I could be independent from it. Obviously that's not the case. But over time I have realised that you have to take a position, a stand."
Fear, who hails from a middle-class background and was raised in affluent Oxfordshire, continued campaigning and making videos. But it all changed in May 2011 when the situation changed in Gaza when Egypt opened the Gaza border crossing. "This provided me with a real opportunity to become a witness and a delegate. I did this for three months last year."
Snippets on Fear
On his parents:
"My parents were concerned at the beginning but after a while they realised that I was taking care of myself. I wasn't trying to get myself killed. They were very proud of me doing something totally abnormal. I don't have time to be in touch with my parents. It's sad but my parents end up hearing more about me from Facebook than from me. But they're very strong parents."
On his upbringing
"I'm an only child, which meant that I had a very intense upbringing. I spent more time around adults growing up hence my mature outlook. And also, going to very elite educational institutions allow me to understand the personal influences that elites have on the world and their world view. This knowledge has provided me with a level of profound insight which helps my work."
On empathy with Gazans:
"As a child I had extreme difficulties with my mobility. I grew up with a rare bone disease that meant that my leg broke three times. For so many months I was in hospital, in a wheelchair, unable to walk or run. I was around 6 years old. I remember my mum saying to me that I would be operated on and have a piece of metal sticking out of my leg for a year. It's a difficult thing for a child to go through. In a way, I know what it feels like to not be able to do what's normal or see the world. I think I know what it feels like for Gazans to not be able to do what the rest of the world is doing. For the Palestinians, their childhood is generally on hold. There's no such thing as innocence."
On being driven:
"When I was a teenager, I was an avid fan of the American TV series 24, a story about one man intensively trying to save the US. He doesn't sleep, he doesn't go to the toilet, he just works. I watched the series as a child and I remember thinking that this is the kind of dedication that we all ought to have to something in our life. That psychological dedication is something I'm inspired by. I try to develop a psychological and physical resilience so that I can work without sleep, with increased stress and dedicate myself. I've always been very practical and hard on myself. I try to inspire myself by being influenced by people who are great.
When I was in my late teens I was very preoccupied with the notion of time passing. I kept asking myself what actually had I done, or achieved that I was going to be overwhelmingly proud off when I'm on my deathbed. I said: Not enough. The first thing I said to myself was that I had to do something. Secondly, that I needed to be realistic about the seriousness and immediacy of the problem. When people start becoming active, they'll realise that it's the most important thing in their life."
On his biggest challenge:
"One of the biggest battles that I feel I face is trying to get people to give up selfishness, comfort, luxury, consumerism and all of the things that orientate people into a state of apathy. One of my goals is to make people feel and set the example that we can do something. Spiritually speaking, I've learnt that people who are in a bad situation act in the most humane way. In Gaza people face imminent death yet they act in the most extraordinary, hospitable, loving, open and humane way... and there's a correlation between this thing.
Also, I have learnt that it's very important to keep connected with the suffering of other people when one is in a position of luxury in order to maintain one's humanity and be connected with what matters in life."
On adjusting to life:
"I listen to lounge music when I want to re-balance myself. When I'm back home in the UK, I go out with friends, watch stupid movies... but it's not easy adjusting to normal life when you've been in a war zone. The life of luxury that people generally have in the west, I'll be honest with you, looks ridiculous when you've been in Gaza. People are so disconnected from the intransience of life; people have forgotten what's important. People have lost their humanity – overwhelmingly."
On the power of documentaries:
"I didn't have to go to Gaza to connect with Gaza. But having seen it, it makes it more real as an analysis. This is why documentaries are powerful because they make you feel like you're there. When I was in Gaza, I produced a live stream. Not only did people watch me experience the war but they could also hear the explosions. They could see the camera shake. I've had people come up to me at the end of my talks literally crying and thanking me for making them feel like they were there. And they haven't been. This is what documentary and video does. They allow people to connect with humanity again."
Follow Harry Fear's journey on www.harryfear.co.uk/blog/gaza-report
View the original article here: MEN: What matters in life - Live - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/life-times/live/men-what-matters-in-life-1.218993#ixzz2L289B6SZ