Did You See Me This Time with Your Own Eyes?

In order to shield themselves from the Egyptian government’s efforts to track their phone calls, some Bedouins in the Sinai Peninsula have opted to use old 2G phones as these devices are said to be better shielded from surveillance. They have also developed coded dialects that are inaccessible to the rest of the region’s population. Shadi Habib Allah acquired some of their cryptic conversations, managed to translate them, and had them encrypted on mini computers. A group of Palestinian engineers were given these devices and commissioned to set up a DIY 2G phone network. If set up properly, the network autonomously makes calls and provides a translation on a screen.
The engineers trying to access the Bedouin’s technology could well be Egyptian state authorities. Their efforts could easily be directed at decoding subversive exchanges between members of the Bedouins, infamous for moving goods illegally across the borders between Egypt, Palestine, and other areas around. In either case, though, their approach, the zeal of discovery, remains the same. What alters is the meaning afforded by the context – ‘invention’ in the first case, ‘hazard’ in the other.
by Shadi Habib Allah
with Emad Amouri, Saleem, Mohammad Sabaaneh
Palestine 2016 Arabic 7’ Colour Documentary form


  • Emad Amouri
  • Saleem
  • Mohammad Sabaaneh


Director Shadi Habib Allah
Cinematography Shadi Habib Allah
Editing Shadi Habib Allah
Sound Design Steffen Martin
Producer Shadi Habib Allah

Produced by

Shadi Habib Allah

Shadi Habib Allah

Shadi Habib Allah, born in Jerusalem, Palestine in 1977, received a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 2003 and an MFA from Columbia University in 2010. His practice ranges from film, sculpture, and drawing to installation. His work has been shown at international art institutions, museums, and film festivals. He lives and works between New York and Palestine.


2010 The King and The Jester; 26 min. 2015 Dag’aa; 19 min. 2017 30KG Shine; 19 min. 2018 Did You See Me This Time with Your Own Eyes?

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019