Zoriah: Gaza Life

From photographer Zoriah: This series of photos was taken in the Gaza Strip in May 2006. To get as close to the people and their lives as possible, I spent one month living in an apartment, on a local's budget in the Gaza Strips most dangerous area, the Shajaiyeh neighborhood. I attended Mosque, ate in local restaurants and street side food stalls and commuted on foot and by local, public transport. Although I did my best to fit in, by some local accounts I was the first western person to walk freely down the streets of Shajaiyeh since approximately 1990, and my presence often created more attention than is good for a photographer to have.

Despite all of the difficulties I believe I was able to capture certain aspects of life in Gaza that the media has missed in the past, namely the daily life of Palestinians and the destruction that surrounds them. I wanted to leave the Hamas training camps and angry protests to those who have been covering them for years, and show the struggles of the people who search daily for food, medicine, education, housing and safety.The destruction shown in these photos was caused by Israeli Defense Forces. Retaliation for suicide bombings often wipe out entire neighborhoods and destroy infrastructure that thousands rely on. After the pullout of Israeli settlers, instead of leaving buildings and roads to the people of this impoverished country, they are reduced to rubble during massive airborne artillery assaults. The mental torment of the people by Israeli Defense Forces has taken its toll and recent sanctions have created a large scale humanitarian crisis. These photos represent only a fraction of those taken during my one month stay. Please also see Gaza Medical Crisis on this site, another story about the affects of sanctions on Gaza.

Other previous series by Zoriah concerning AIDS, the tsunami that hit Thiland in 2004 and the Pakistan earthquake can be viewed here, here, and here.

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Technorati Tags: aftermath, gaza, hamas, israel, israeli defense force, shajaiyeh, war, zoriah

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