Published on 11th May 2018

Sabaya

  • Loor, 8, plays outside of her home in Walaja, Occupied West Bank. Her family home has been demolished once, and an impending court case is their only home it may avert it from being demolished a second time. Two brothers, each of their wives, mother, and aproximately nine children (and a newborn) live in the modest two story structure. She plays on structure from a previous demolition, an Israeli settlement in distance.

  • A young mother in her garden in JIftlek, Occupied West Bank. She just discovered she is expecting twins.

  • A teenager in Gaza rushes to complete her homework while there is electricity. Under the Isreali blockade (since 2007), restrictions on Palestinian citizens of Gaza for travel (whether for medical, education, or otherwise), economy, and increasingly electricity are collectively suffocating.

  • Bedouin teens of Palestinian community of Zanba enjoy the disruption of the usual daily life when a humanitarian organization comes with a theatre for the small children. With their mothers and younger siblings occupied, they took opportunity to play. The community is under threat of continued demolitions of their modest structures and fear they could be forced of their land Occupied West Bank, 2018.

  • Girl on cusp of teen years in her grandmother's home in Mazraa, Israel. The Palestinian citizen of Israel has big dreams, and modeling is one of them. She spends a lot of time with her grandmother, Lily. Lily often recites proverbs (an avid Christian) from church as well as from her long lost father like: "When the horses fought in the river, only the frogs got hurt.”

  • Young girl plays in the agricultural fields of Jiftlek, Occupied West Bank. Her father is a farmer, their home under demolition threats from Israel, despite being firmly in West Bank and owned by family for generations. The only daughter of a farmer, the community is generally conservative but the lets her play freely. He said he wants her to know the magic of youth, because her growing years will be hard under occupation.

  • Bedouin women (mothers and teens alike) of Palestinian community of Zanba play “queen for a day” with props left over from a visiting mobile community theatre / ngo. The women in Bedouin rural communities are generally extremely conservative, but Zanba is a rare treat of playfulness. They felt ancient "Amazon warrior" like in their confidence, warmth, and natural leadership. The community is under threat of continued demolitions of their modest structures and fear they could be forced of their land. Occupied West Bank, 2018.

  • Palestinian teens enjoy Bourj Al Laq Laq---one of the most vital community centres in East Jerusalem, offering recreational and educational space for the Palestinian community (open air is precious in the 0.9 square kilometers walled in city). The Palestinian community of the Old City live in one of the most tense environments for Occupied Palestinians, including the youth (primarily boys) are frequently harassed and impending demolition orders and fear of losing their Jerusalem status hangs heavy. Space to simply be is rare and precious, and Bourj Al Laq Laq and the Dome of Rock are some of the few paces in the Old City Walls that young girls could be girls and run freely.

  • Documentation of the abuse by her ex husband, she fled before he killed her through bathroom window.

  • Tender moment between mother and daughter.
    Um Basel, 38, is barely surviving as a Syrian “urban refugee” in Jordan. Her husband made it by sea to Germany, and is trying to bring his family. She is responsible for six kids. Um Basel says: “It’s not selfishness for my husband to leave us, he did it for the sake of the family. He risked his life for our sake, to find a better life and a house for our children.” She said he was afraid to take her and the smaller children on the route with him, and at a cost of 1,500 Jordanian dinar each they couldn’t afford more than one passage.

    “When my husband was here, I used to depend on him for everything. Now it all falls on me and it’s so much harder.” At one point the strain becomes too much and her voice breaks, tears coming unbidden to her eyes. “I’m just so tired, I can’t handle it. I sometimes wish he hadn’t gone.” A short while later, though, she says there was no other choice. “We can’t stay here, and there’s nothing left for us in Syria.” In order to survive, she says she has been forced to dull her emotions. “I learned to do this after the war started, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to cope. I was very different before the war, more relaxed.”

  • A young Jordanian girl peers alternatively back at the Dead Sea, and occasionally and shyly, at a boy beside her.

  • A young Gazan teen is tied up in a first aid course demonstration as her classmates giggle. In the immediate aftermath of the Israeli "Operation Cast Lead" war on Gaza, the trauma and loss of life were so vast (according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, 926 civilians lost their lives) that women associations began teaching first aid courses to children. This was to help the children feel they had agency, both a coping mechanism and also practical measure to save lives.
    Occupied Palestinian Territories, Gaza, Gaza City

  • Salaam at the rehab center after peering out a window in Jordan. The Syrian pre-teen lost her leg to a barrel bomb in Syria, watching her cousin die and believing her young brother was dead also. She has wide gray eyes and a generous spirit.

  • Portrait of a Bedouin teen of the Palestinian community of Khan Ahmar. She is frustrated she won't be able to graduate high school, as the local school is equipped for 8th grade only. It is too far for her to walk safely (her parents feel-boys are allowed) to get to the nearest high school in Jericho. The Israelis are forbidding any structures in their community, and are actively trying to displace the community to a new location, despite its location in the West Bank, due to plans to expand settlements. The Israeli government limits the Palestinian Authority from accessing the area to build or run schools. So she knows....she will not finish high school and doubts she will ever become a teacher.

  • Young ballerinas in Ramallah. Occupied West Bank.

  • “My dream for the future? I don’t have one. It’s better to not dream than dream and not have it come true.” Zam Zam, Somali refugee.

  • Hiba (28) feels imprisoned in Bethlehem. Israel controls every aspect of life for occupied Palestinians, including the issuance of every birth certificate, marriage license, ID card, and permission to travel (to Jordan, anywhere). Israel refuses to give her family identity papers and they remain years in limbo. Despite this, she managed to graduate as an assistant nurse, and is determined to achieve her goal of becoming a psychologist. She works in the neonatal unit of a Bethlehem hospital. Here, she walks along the separation barrier which closes off Palestinians from Jerusalem (around nine kilometers away) as well as from newly confiscated lands.

  • Syrian refugees in Jordan. A grandmother looks over her grandchildren. The girl lost her father.

  • Sally shares her new tattoo. 'I suffered, I learned, I changed."

Sabaya

Portrait, Social Issues, Contemporary Issues

Tagged with:
  • palestinian territory
  • jordan
  • childhood