Skip to main content

In photos: Generations of Palestinian exile

In photos: Generations of Palestinian exile




In photos: Generations of Palestinian exile

27 June 2014

2-6369.jpg

Wajeeda, 62-years-old, in Aida refugee camp, with a granddaughter.

There are more than five million Palestinian refugees
registered with the United Nations, making up the largest group of
refugees in the world. The Palestinian refugee advocacy group BADIL estimates
there are an additional 2.7 million unregistered Palestinian refugees,
making up 66 percent of the Palestinian population worldwide.


They have been waiting more than sixty years to exercise their right to return
since their first mass forced displacement with the ethnic cleansing of
Palestine by Zionist forces in 1948, what Palestinians call the Nakba or catastrophe, during the establishment of the State of Israel.


Five generations since then, many Palestinian refugees today live in
poor conditions in crowded camps. The stateless are among the most
vulnerable, as their plight in Syria continues to show.


With the conviction that the right of return is not a side issue but
is at the core of the so-called conflict, this series depicts a
Palestinian refugee child with a grandparent, a first-generation
refugee. Through it I hope to emphasize not only the duration of the
plight of Palestinian refugees, but also to visualize the extraordinary
bond and solidarity that Palestinian refugees share across generations,
preserving their dignity and determination during the long wait and
fight for justice.


I first worked on this series in 2008 but I had left it buried and
unfinished in my archive. Although I have worked for years in these
camps and know how central the issue of Palestinian refugees are, I put
it aside as there were always developments in Palestine that seemed more
urgent.


This series questions the way the “conflict” is portrayed and how a
core issue remains largely left out of the story, leaving the plight of
millions of Palestinians in a perpetual state of uncertainty and
invisibility.


As the first generation of refugees and the immediate survivors of
the Nakba become fewer in number, it is more urgent than ever to bring
their histories back to the center of the discourse on Palestine.


Wajeeda, the woman in the photo above, told me: ”I remember when we
were under the tent [after the 1948 Nakba]. It was a very small tent for
four persons but we were seven children there. There were only six
toilets for hundreds of people. The life was very bad. I know that to
return to the homeland is just a dream but I still hope for these
children of the new generation to return.”


Anne Paq is a French freelance photographer and member of the photography collective ActiveStills.


1-img_5294.jpg

Al-Amari refugee camp, near Ramallah. A major problem with most
refugee camps is the severe overcrowding and lack of infrastructure.
There are usually no sidewalks and no green space, only small walkways
formed by rows and rows of concrete buildings.

3-5483.jpg

Youssef, seven years old, lives in al-Aroub refugee camp near the
West Bank city of Hebron. “I see the Israeli army every day in our camp
when I come back from school,” he says. His 73-year-old grandfather
Youssef says: “I felt humiliated and insulted when I was kicked out from
my village. We left without our things in cars that Israelis brought to
take us far away. We still hope to go back. If we are dead, our
children will.”

4-5453b.jpg

Abed, ninety years old, lives in al-Aroub refugee camp: “I used to
own a lot of land. I had animals, and trees. I want to go back there to
die. I want to finish my life there.”

5-6486.jpg

Mohammad, 83 years old, lives in al-Azzeh camp, the smallest in the
West Bank and where the unemployment rate is high. “I cannot explain my
feelings with one sentence,” he says. “Those who have no country have no
dignity. I have no dignity. I always think of the past. Life was better
then. We had our land. Now if you don’t work, you don’t eat. I feel
angry. I was a fighter against the British and the Zionists. If I had
the strength to fight, I will fight the Palestinian leaders.”

6-img_4597_2.jpg

Israel’s wall in Aida refugee camp near the West Bank city of
Bethlehem is built only a few meters away from the homes of the refugees
and prevents them from accessing the olive grove where they used to go
for recreation.

7-img_6366_2.jpg

Approximately 40 percent of the Palestinian refugee population are children, according to a 2007 report by the refugee advocacy group BADIL. A 2012 survey by the group states that 27 percent of the population is under the age of 15.

8-img_5189_2.jpg

Tasneem, nine years old, lives in al-Amari camp near the West Bank
city of Ramallah “This place is not my place. I would like to go back to
my original village and I pray for my father to get out of prison,” she
says. Her 54-year-old grandmother Khadija has five sons, four of them
in prison.

9-img_6464.jpg

Mahmoud, eighteen years old, lives in Aida refugee camp near
Bethlehem. “There is something missing in my life,” he says. Abed, his
75-year-old grandfather, says: “I feel miserable because my village is
gone. I was fourteen years old when we had to leave our land. We had a
small house and land. It was a simple life but we did not need any help
from other people or institutions. I could go back once to Beit Jibrin,
and when I saw that everything was destroyed I felt very sad.”

10-img_5345.jpg

Ninety-year-old Fatima in al-Amari camp shows the original property
documents from her home in Lod (al-Lydd). “I wish I had died there in my
village,” she says. “It would have been better than living in this
camp. The Zionists attacked us with weapons and threatened us. We ran
away. We slept under trees with no food. I lost my twelve-year-old
brother during the Nakba.”

11-img_5577_2.jpg

Mahmoud, eleven years old, lives in Balata refugee camp near the West
Bank city of Nablus. His father is in prison and his young brother was
killed by the Israeli army in 2004 when he was four years old. Zuhdeia,
his seventy-year-old grandmother, is a shop owner and has 57
grandchildren.

12-img_5591_2.jpg

Nearly one-third of the registered Palestine refugees, more than 1.5
million individuals, live in 58 recognized Palestine refugee camps in
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East
Jerusalem, according to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees.

13-img_6113_2.jpg

Zakia, 85 years old, lives in Qalandia refugee camp near the West
Bank city of Ramallah. “I feel the exile, the instability, the loss of
my rights with the approval of all the world which let Israel take our
lands,” she says.

14-img_5641_1.jpg

Balata camp near the city of Nablus was established in 1950 and has
become the largest West Bank camp in terms of inhabitants, with more
than 23,000 registered refugees.

15-img_6236_2.jpg

Ibrahim, 83 years old, lives in Dheisheh refugee camp near the West
Bank city of Bethlehem: “I was around twenty years old and I had a wife
and a son. Our family owned 1,000 dunums [a dunum is
the equivalent of 1,000 square meters]. We had fifty goats, twenty-five
cows, two camels and fifty hens. When the Israeli soldiers entered the
Palestinian villages, they shot everywhere and we were afraid. When I
heard that my friend and his wife were killed, I became even more afraid
and I hid myself and my family in a well for one night. For two years
we had been going from one place to another. Once I was able to return
to my village, five years after we left. Everything was destroyed,
including my home. I just found two dogs that I knew before and they
recognized me. I was very sad when I saw all the destruction.”

16-img_6259.jpg

Khadija, 75 years old, says: “I was fifteen years old when the
Israelis came to Ras Abu Ammar. I was married, I had a house, thirty
goats, one camel and hens. We owned twenty dunums. For two
years we went to different places before Dheisheh camp. We live here
like cats in this room and nobody cares about refugees.”

17-img_6288_2.jpg

Hakma, 75 years old, lives in Dheisheh refugee camp: “I was seventeen
years old, I was pregnant and had a two-month-old baby. When we heard
about Deir Yassin [a massacre in a village near Jerusalem], we got
afraid and left. One day in my original village equals one life in this
camp.”

18-img_5382.jpg

According to
the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 31 percent of Palestinian
refugees in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip live below the
poverty line.

19-img_6421_2.jpg

Ahmad, sixteen years old, lives in Aida refugee camp and wants to
work as a DJ: “I am proud of being refugee but I hate where I live. I
hope to return to my homeland.” His grandmother, 70 years old, says: “I
was twelve years old when the soldiers arrived. My house was very
beautiful and we grew many things on our land. There were a lot of
shootings at the houses. I am a refugee and I got married under the
tent, can you imagine? I want to say to the world: do not forget
Palestine.”

20-img_6532_2_2.jpg

Salma, seven years old, with Ahmad, her 76-year-old grandfather, in
his shop in al-Azzeh camp near the West Bank city of Nablus. Ahmad says:
“There is no humiliation in the world such as being away from your own
village.”

21.jpg

Fatima, 67 years-old, surrounded by some of her grandchildren in Dheisheh refugee camp.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Call for the World Social Forum Free Palestine, Nov. 2012 in Brazil

Call for the World Social Forum Free Palestine, Nov. 2012 in Brazil
Occupied Palestine is part of every free heartbeat in this world and her cause continues to inspire solidarity across the globe.  The World Social Forum Free Palestine is an expression of the human instinct to unite for justice and freedom and an echo of the World Social Forum’s opposition to neo-liberal hegemony, colonialism, and racism through struggles for social, political and economic alternatives to promote justice, equality, and the sovereignty of peoples.

The WSF Free Palestine will be a global encounter of broad-based popular and civil society mobilizations from around the world. It aims to:

1. Show the strength of solidarity with the calls of the Palestinian people and the diversity of initiatives and actions aimed at promoting justice and peace in the region.

2. Create effective actions to ensure Palestinian self-determination, the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and the fulfillme…

Did Certain Foreign Governments Facilitate the 9/11 Attacks?  : Information Clearing House - ICH

Did Certain Foreign Governments Facilitate the 9/11 Attacks?  : Information Clearing House - ICH

Did Certain
Foreign Governments Facilitate the 9/11 Attacks?




– and why is the US government keeping the evidence
a secret?



By Justin Raimondo




August 29, 2014 "ICH"
- "Anti
War
" - -
Some thirteen years after the event, the shadow of
the

9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center
in Manhattan and the Pentagon still darkens our
world. The legacy of that terrible day has impacted
not only our foreign policy, bequeathing to a new
generation an apparently

endless "war on terrorism," it also has led
directly to what is arguably the most

massive assault on our civil liberties since the
Alien and Sedition Acts. Getting all the information
about what happened that day – and why it happened –
is key to understanding the cou…