Free virtual screening of the documentary film "On the Doorstep,"

28 Jan 2023


Announced by the University of Pittsburgh:

Screening will start at 12:00 Noon US EST; 7:00 PM Palestine Time.47 minutes, English language with Arabic subtitles . The film screening will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Sahara Dirbas and the protagonist Valerie Bisharat.

A documentary that shows how three generations of Palestinians in U.S from Bisharat family, have maintained their emotional attachment to their home in West Jerusalem, taken over by Israelis in 1948.

Among them a Valerie 21-year-old, who traveled across the world to visit her grandfather’s house to find out the truth she inherited about the house and managed to meet face to face the current Gisele Arazi 96-year-old Israeli occupant.

Sahara Dirbas

About the Director

Independent Filmmaker/ Freelance Producer/Script editor/Lector/Oral history researcher.


2022- The Story Behind- Alquds Ramadan Cannon.

2018-2019: ” On The Doorstep” 37 min, awarded a Special Mention Prize by jury in 2018 Palestinian Cinema Days and awarded a Special Mention Prize by jury in 2019 Alquds international film festival

2017 - Silence, 2015 – ”Between Heaven and Earth” 10 min,“Sumud” 20 min,

2015 - Director supervision, production training for a new women directors and producing 5 films about Palestinian woman’s oral history

2014 - Short film “Evicting violence from our life and history”

2013 -TV Spots :1-Evicting violence from our life and History. 2 - No Violence against Women 3 -

2012 - “Deir Yassin Village and Massacre” 75min, 2012 by Sahera Dirbas

2010 - “Jerusalem Bride” 75 min Docudrama film

2009: 1 - “Stranger in my home” Jerusalem, 37 min 2007. Awarded, the best short documentary film in AMAL09 7th IEAFFL in Spain.

Screened in European Parliament-Brussels in 2007.Participated in international festivals in Europe and the US. It was translated to six languages: Arabic, English, Hebrew, Italian, French, Spanish.

2-“138 pounds in my pocket” It was nominated to a price in 5th Aljazeera international film festival 2010 and participated other international festivals in Europe and US and Canada. 3 - “Crystal Grapes” 14 minutes. Both films production of Bergen University - Norway

2008- “A Handful of Earth” 52 min, 2008.


2005 - 1) Article “Nakbah Wanakbaty”. 2 )Session “Voices of Palestinian Eyewitnesses of the Catastrophe in 1948 “ and presenting the film “Haifawi” in the conference of Oral History Association , the 39th Annual Meeting Providence ,Rhode Island :F067 .

1990-1993: I published three small books:

1993 -” Salameh”, 1992 – “Albirweh”, 1991 – “Tirat Haifa”:

about three destroyed Palestinian villages in 1948, their cultural social educational, folklore life and the events of “Al-Nakbah “ 1948 , based on Oral History research.

Work experience:

1995-2023 independent Filmmaker, freelance producer for news and documentary, worked with Rai-uno-due-tre TV & BBC and others international TVs.

2016-2017 Project Instructor of “Reel Stories” project, empowering young women through filmmaking. A project of Palestinian Heritage Museum - Jerusalem and Arab American Museum, Detroit, USA

2013 – 2014 Teaching and director supervising for 15 Palestinian women from different cities in West Bank for the project of the program called “Audiovisual Documentary Research, training and Audiovisual Production on Women’s Narrative and Memory in the Palestinian”

Results: producing 4 short films for an Audio Video new section in “Wujoud” women Cultural center and Museum, Jerusalem.

The program was done by WELOD - Women’s Empowerment and Local Development (WELOD2). – Consulate General of Italy-UTL Italian Cooperation Office and MOWA

2011 - I taught scriptwriting of documentary for young Egyptian filmmakers in Euro med program called Rising Stars - Cairo

Prior to her filmmaking career, Sahera graduated as Practical Chemical engineering Graduated as practical chemical engineering from Handasaem College in Technion-Haifa and worked in pharmacology lab and pharmacy.

Event Date: 
Saturday, January 28, 2023 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Sponsored By: 
Palestine Museum