In September, The Student interviewed a student who had spent a year abroad in Palestine and asked them about their experiences. This photo essay displays some of the images that they took during their time on the West Bank, accompanied by some of their comments about their experience .
Palestine is often talked about superficially or not even talked about, disregarded as ‘it’s such a complex issue’, especially due to the fear of being labelled ‘anti-Semitic’ when discussing the occupation. Hence, I decided that I wanted to make a more public post about the ‘separation barrier’ or ‘apartheid wall’. I want people to realise how ridiculous it is to have an 8m wall in the 21st century which ‘protects people’ but really just isolates communities instead.
The atmosphere in the city is quite tense in the old Hebron market today, as Jewish settlers throw rubbish, rocks and faeces onto Palestinians below, items which are trapped in the netting in the market area.
The Cave of the Patriarchs/Ibrahimi Mosque is not an example of co-existence. Despite consisting of important figures for both Islam and Judaism, the complex is split unevenly between Jews and Muslims. There is bulletproof glass within the tomb room of Prophet Ibrahim dividing the Muslim and Jewish sides due to the 1994 massacre carried out by American-Israeli, Baruch Goldstein, where 29 Muslims were murdered. Moreover, when Muslims visit the mosque, they are required to pass through metal barriers and every time Palestinian men want to visit they have to remove their personal items and lift their shirts to the soldiers.
A lot of the graffiti in the old city of Jerusalem is of the Kabaah (the point towards which Muslims pray in Mecca) as families decorate their houses with them after they have performed either pilgrimage: Hajj/Umrah. Another common symbol found throughout the old city is the Dome of the Rock. This shrine has become a prevalent and significant symbol in the Palestine/Israel conflict as both Jews and Muslims hold the site to be holy and thus each group claim it as their own. Similar to the Cave of the Patriarchs, the Dome of the Rock is a complex area of tension between Palestinians and Israelis.
Images: Interviewee (Anonymous)