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Film

Toronto filmmaker John Greyson still held in Egypt

Posted by Guest Contributor / August 19, 2013

John Greyson EgyptLast Friday, local filmmaker John Greyson (director of Zero Patience, Lillies and Fig Trees) and London-based ER doctor Tarek Loubani were arrested in Cairo, Egypt. At present time, Egyptian authorities have not provided a reason for the ongoing detention of the two Canadians. According to a CBC News report, they are currently being held in Torah prison, which is located on the outskirts of Cairo. Currently, the Canadian Embassy in Cairo have contacted Loubani and Greyson in the Egyptian prison facility and are attempting to secure their immediate release.

Understanding the risks of traveling to a country in political upheaval didn't stop Greyson and Loubani from passing through Egypt. In fact, the final destination of their trip was to visit the emergency department of Gaza's largest hospital, Al Shifa Hospital. John Greyson was traveling to Gaza with Loubani in order to research an upcoming film to be set in Gaza. Both Loubani and Greyson are known for taking political risks.

In 2009, Greyson caused much controversy by pulling his film Covered (above) from TIFF over a Tel Aviv Spotlight, a peaceful act of protest that created the space for much needed dialogue and debate, divided many film critics, filmmakers and theorists. In one of his most recent videos (below), Greyson shows his support for Stevie Wonder pulling the plug on his concert for Israeli soldiers and urged Morgan Freeman and Jian Ghomeshi to the same.

As an activist artist, Greyson challenges us to ask questions about how to make the society we live in a better one. For more information about the status of Loubani and Greyson check out Justin Podur's blog, a website maintained by an associate professor at York University who is a mutual friend of the two and who has been the best information about the event since it happened.

Writing by Clint Enns

Discussion

22 Comments

toronto dude / August 19, 2013 at 05:53 pm
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"As an activist artist, Greyson challenges us to ask questions about how to make the society we live in a better one"...more like...... as an anti-Israel propagandist and a Palestinian shill....enjoy your stay in Cairo Mr. Greyson.
canuckone replying to a comment from toronto dude / August 19, 2013 at 06:10 pm
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Although I am very pro-Israel - it's constant expansion of settlements into occupied territory - is hardly a sign of goodwill. It's a big middle finger to the Palestinians and the attempt to have a resolution.
Just because someone is on the other side of the fence (concrete wall) doesn't make their plight any less important.
FreeJG / August 19, 2013 at 06:39 pm
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Thank-you for writing this article. As a student and friend of John Greyson, I hope that he and Tarek make it home as swiftly and safely as possible. They are both in our thoughts and prayers. Check out this website for further information and ways to help http://tarekandjohn.com/2013/08/19/why-were-tarek-john-arrested/
alison replying to a comment from toronto dude / August 19, 2013 at 07:03 pm
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I hope that he is unhurt, but I hope that he is held for a long long time. Enjoy your stay in the middle east, professor. Maybe you will learn a little bit about how muslims view your gay activism. You'd be safe in Israel....
toronto dude replying to a comment from Matt / August 19, 2013 at 09:00 pm
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articulating your thoughts is not a strength of yours eh. really? a childish meaningless insult directed to no one? ok then, thanks for stopping by.
ROB / August 19, 2013 at 10:31 pm
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He'll learn very quickly how muslims view gay activists. Enjoy your stay John.
Keith Mackey / August 19, 2013 at 10:57 pm
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Hard to feel any sympathy at all for Greyson.
Bet he wishes he was in Israel just about now!
cheryl / August 20, 2013 at 01:33 pm
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I knew John as an extremely talented artist in art school in 1980. We had many arguments then about just how much one person could change the world...john didn't accept our then disempowered view that there was nothing a person could do to change things.. thank God he held to his own convictions... keep up what you are doing John...ignore the comments by "Matt" or "Keith": likely people who have never taken on a challenge in their lives... Proud to have known you!! I hope and pray that you will be ok, as will your friend.
Jaime / August 25, 2013 at 11:27 am
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Greyson used his talents and abilities to agitate hatred against the simple EXISTENCE of Israel.

One wonders, what did the place ever do to him that it should become such a vile and perverse passion of his?

Certainly this misadventure in Egypt is a karmic reward for all of his lies and incitement.

He's where he belongs.
Me / August 25, 2013 at 11:55 am
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He went to cause trouble and he got it. End of story. Boofuckinghoo. Who cares?
Ell / August 31, 2013 at 12:38 pm
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Wow...what a beautiful person...who for some reason hates Israel. A real hero.
moran b eeghuzzar / September 21, 2013 at 01:39 pm
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I am starting a flotilla to rescue Johnny, that Big Baby! Who is with me? The boat is called the Navel Gazer and will be accompanied by the Ignorant, the Silver Spoon-in-yer-mouth and the Aunty Sammitt.
moran b eeghuzzar / September 25, 2013 at 07:15 pm
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johnny greyson will be rescued by our bathtub flotilla,.leaving Oct.1 from Machu Pichu. meet there...and let's go, babies!
moran b eeghuzzar / October 1, 2013 at 11:29 am
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methinks greyson ees fucked! Yeehaw!
moran b eeghuzzar / October 7, 2013 at 09:07 am
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yes, fucked, but now that greyson is out of jail, can't they just keep him in Egypt? He can make his funny little 'Keystone Kops' 2-reelers there - and nobody will watch his crapola no matter where he lives, so...
moran b eeghuzzar / October 10, 2013 at 11:15 am
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Queers against Hamas is joining the Toronto Gay Pride Parade in 2014...you in?
moran b eeghuzzar / October 11, 2013 at 06:13 pm
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Greyson should do a flotilla in his bathtub next, the bumbling fool.
moran b eeghuzzar / October 13, 2013 at 10:22 am
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can we send greyson back to Egypt? Say on vacation -to see the pyramids?
moran b eeghuzzar / October 23, 2013 at 10:29 am
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why hasn't greyson gone to lebanon to help herbollah? to Syria to help Allan Q. Ueda? to usa to help herbollahusa(tea party?
moran b eeghuzzar / October 27, 2013 at 11:08 am
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i have a photo of greyson in my wallet!
skylanders giants / November 30, 2013 at 09:31 am
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Anyway, the TNT Husky bids you farewell, and if you recall, I
told you angling hiking barrow to get maximum control.
The Polar Whirlwind release date is angling hiking barrow made
official. This is the variant version of the game, but I like to start off with
side arm and when I'm teaching people I also have exactly $0.
moran b eeghuzzar / December 15, 2013 at 07:31 pm
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skylanders: You suck. Wish you were in jail in Gaza with Grayson sharing a bunk.

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