"Families Interrupted:" A Photographic Exhibition on the Ban of Family Unification for Palestinians in Israel
Join Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University at Alwan for the Arts for the New York opening of the photographic exhibition, Families Interrupted, on the subject of the ban on family unification for Palestinians in Israel.
Through a series of anonymous portraits, this exhibition by Jenny Nyman captures the reality of the many thousands of Palestinian families who are forced to live in the shadows by the Israeli Citizenship Law. By lifting the thin veil of anonymity that envelops them, the images give insights into how the ban turns them into families interrupted, struggling to lead a normal life together. By photographing them in their personal spaces, it offers glimpses of their day-to-day human existence as families.
The evening event at on February 21 will also include a presentation by and Q&A with Adalah director Hassan Jabareen about the Citizenship Law in Israel, as well as the screening of a short film on the ban on family unification by Ayed Fadel and Mike Kardosh.
"Last year, we all went on a trip to the Golan, but the soldiers turned me back— only me— because I didn't have an Israeli ID. It was a surreal and totally exasperating experience."
"I didn't have residency status when I gave birth to my first three children. We had to go to a private hospital, which cost us a small fortune."
"It is my right to choose my life partner, someone I feel comfortable with, who I share my thoughts, life and decisions with."
"My wife has to wait in a separate line at the checkpoints. We tell the girls that she is going to buy them some sweets, but we won't be able to keep fooling them for long."
"I want to go to university to study journalism and political science, but I have no idea where or how; all the paths before me are blocked. I feel hopeless."
"In the summer of 2010, my family went to Sinai. It was when my father applied for my travel permit that he found out that my residency permit had been withdrawn."
"The children are terrified of the army and police. They're not even comfortable having their mother with them in the car. Can you imagine that? I'm so tired of it all."
"I had to smuggle my wife to her father and sister's funerals through the bypass roads. She can't enter the West Bank because she wouldn't be permitted to come back."
"I've risked my life to get to see my family in the West Bank. I've jumped more than ten meters off the Separation Wall and they shot at me twice."
"We've been playing a game of cat-and-mouse with the authorities ever since we got married. At this point I feel like a hero just for getting through a checkpoint."
"I constantly feel that I have no rights, and that everything I get is charity."
"The fear I have of going outside and moving around has become psychologically and socially overwhelming. I live cut off from the outside world."
"My husband received a permit to enter Israel only once, on our wedding day, only until ten o'clock in the evening."
"We refuse to apply for status for Ashraf under the Citizenship Law because the process is humiliating."
"I couldn't see my father before he died. My mother's sick now but if I go to visit her, I risk losing my family."
"I haven't been back to Gaza in nine years. If I did, I wouldn't be allowed or able to come back. I built my life here before the law changed, and now I don't know where I stand."
"The cost of living in an unrecognized village is enormous. The water bill is sky high because we have to bring our water from outside the village"
"We can't travel abroad or go on a pilgrimage to Mecca, for example."
"My life continued, all on the basis of my invalid driver's license and I kept quiet. Why wake the dead?"
"After the law, I sold my business because I lost the right to work. Then I realized that I could function here based on my driver's license, even without an ID."
"I'm not legally registered here because my husband is already married to another woman. I have no status here and I can't visit my family in the West Bank."
"I'm afraid of the police, afraid of moving around, afraid even to leave the house because of my West Bank ID."
The exhibition will be open from February 17 - 21, 2014.
Open ever day from 12-6 P.M. Alwan for the Arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor, NY
Suggested donation: $10
The project was supported by UNDP, and was carried out in cooperation with Society of St. Yves and Sidreh Nissaa Alnagab.