In her 2005 review for Electronic Intifada, Jenny Gheith wrote of the film, “Bab el Shams has deservedly received praise in the film community; it was selected by Cannes Film Festival to be part of its official, out of competition selections, and has been screened at film festivals worldwide. Do not miss the chance to watch this riveting film, which traverses fifty years of Palestinian history and is filled with love, life and an ongoing will to survive.”
In the beginning was Palestine, and the story of Younes (Orwa Nyrabia) began, known as Abou Salem, known as the Man, said to be the father of Ibrahim, fighting the English from the age of 16, still fighting, but retrenched in the Lebanon, illegal in his own country ; the story of Nahila (Rim Turki) also began, married to him when she was twelve, breast-feeding their first child, born during the villagers' exhausting trek towards the North, fleeing their burning homes, Nahila whom he met secretly in a cave in Bab El Chams, in Galilee. Again it is the story of Doctor Khalil (Bassel Khayat), abandoned by his mother in the shambles of the refugee camps, who, in Beirut, rescued Younes in a deep coma, lulling him with the tragic story of his people ; and yet again it is that of Chams (Hala Omran) whom Khalil loved and was executed by his companions in arms. Fifty years of history full of suffering, hope and love.