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Synopsis: A young Palestinian horse breeder named Abdel Naser Musleh and his family navigate the difficulties of raising champion Arabian horses in the West Bank—where access to vets and training facilities always seems to be a checkpoint away.


International Horses



Run Time

45 minutes



Directed by

Elise Coker

Director's Statement

The night I began this film was the night Abdel Naser Musleh’s Arabian colt Mawal el Nahar was born, four weeks before his due date. The colt was born with serious health complications that required immediate medical care, and that night, he almost died. Abdel Naser, a young Palestinian horse breeder, lives in Kafr Aqab, an area part of the Jerusalem municipality but decisively in the West Bank, behind the separation barrier. That night, his colt was rescued by an Israeli veterinarian who crossed the border into the West Bank to treat the baby horse, despite the restrictions that bar such an entry. This scenario hit home to me how the community around Arabian horses straddles the country’s conflict in a way that starkly reveals how it affects every aspect of life, including mundane daily activities and passionate pursuits alike. I saw this project as an opportunity to examine the greater issues of the region via the lens of this unique community and Abdel Naser’s love of Arabian horses.

Director's Bio

Elise Coker is an American documentary filmmaker and video journalist based in New York City. She has made films for media outlets including Vice, NBC, Al Jazeera, and PBS. Her work has received recognition including from Overseas Press Club of America and POYi. In addition to film, Elise paints landscapes, composes electronic music, and writes science fiction.

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