Featuring: Āʾishah Abu al-Qiʿān, Riḍa Abu al-Qiʿān, Rimāl Abu al-Qiʿān,
Ruqayyah Abu al-Qiʿān
Presented byNegev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality
Curated byKisha Bari and Adi Lavy
“My biggest fear is what will be forgotten” says one of the Bedouin women from the village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev Desert before the destruction of her entire village by the state of Israel. The Forced from Home project captures the last moments of the lives of five hundred residents who have been in this village for the past six decades.
This last, symbolic, action of resistance by Bedouin women is an expression of their strength, and the ability to survive one
of the most aggressive forms of oppression. Featuring their own photography, Bedouin women from the Village of Umm Al-Hiran published the book Umm al-Hiran – Moments of Farewell to the Village, a collection of snapshots taken by women who live in the village that they will soon have to leave forever.
Thumbnail photo credit: Hala Abo Frieh
Āʾishah Abu is the mother of three children and works at home. She lives in the village of Umm al-Hiran. “I hope we will live safely and freely in our village”.
Riḍa Abu is the mother of eleven children and works at home. As a mother, her dream is to have a permanent home in which they can live happily. “Taking photographs allows me to show the society that they cannot see. No one can see the hardships and the injustices done to us.”
Rimāl Abu is the mother of five children and works at home. She was born and raised in Umm al-Hiran. She feels fear for the future because it is uncertain. She has no idea what will happen once they are evacuated from their village. Everyday her fear grows. “I love taking pictures, because photos will remain as memories.”
Ruqayyah Abu is the mother of five and works at home. She dreams of a stable life. Stability is the most important thing to her. She wants to be able to fix things in her home without having to worry that it will be demolished. “It’s very hard to photograph the destruction and ruins of demolished homes. Anyway, whether or not we take pictures, it stays in our memory.”
The Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF) is a grassroots organization, working to ensure dignity and a shared society. NCF was established in 1997 by a group of Arab and Jewish residents of the Negev-Naqab who were alarmed by the government’s discriminatory policies and practices towards its Arab-Bedouin citizens.
Today, NCF is the only joint Arab-Jewish organization focused specifically on the problems facing the Negev-Naqab, and it calls for justice for its Bedouin residents. Our vision is that all residents of the Negev-Naqab live in dignity and share a society in which all residents enjoy human rights, equality, and justice.