2015 - Ongoing
Habibi is the story of Palestinian prisoners’ wives who have turned to sperm smuggling in order to conceive children through in vitro fertilization (IVF) from their husbands who are serving long-term sentences in Israeli jails. In the past 3 years, 60 babies have been born.
There are around 7,000 Palestinians, classified as "security prisoners”, facing sentences of 25 years or more. Israel detains them if their alleged or convicted offenses are deemed threats, or potential threats, to national security.
Conjugal visits are denied, Palestinian prisoners see their immediate family for just 45 minutes every two weeks, if at all. While kept physically separated from visiting spouses and adults, inmates can play with their children for ten minutes at the end of each session. During these short visitations, some of the prisoners have smuggled sperm to their kids. This is one of the methods used, but not the only one, however, is the only known at the moment.
Fertility clinics in the occupied territories increasingly offer Ivf treatment to prisoners' wives free of charge. The Razan fertility clinic in Nablus and the al Basma fertility clinic in Gaza have frozen numerous sperm samples recently smuggled from behind bars.
Women in the “Ivf” program believe that one day the prisoners will be released, and when they do return home, they should have a family waiting for them.
My work is mostly focused on Asia and the Middle East, principally in Palestine, covering social, political and cultural issues. Documenting the aftermath of Palestinian-Israeli conflict in Gaza, I sought to unveil and highlight the humanitarian issues hidden within one of the world’s most reported conflicts.