Dreams

Dheisheh Refugee Camp I 2015

Background

The Palestine war in 1948, referred to the Palestinians as the Nakba, led to the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians from what is now Israel. Another expulsion wave occurred in the course of the Six-Day War in 1967. To date, according to UNRWA estimates, about 5 million Palestinian refugees are waiting in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan for their return to their former villages. They are all stateless, except for the refugees in Jordan.

The claimed right of the return of Palestinian refugees, decided in the Resolution 192 by the UN General Assembly, is one of the main controversies in the Agreement on the Middle East conflict. Used by the Arab side as leverage against Israel, it is strongly opposed by Israel, in view of the threat to the Jewish identity of the state.

Palestinian refugee camps are among the most densely populated areas in the world and the bad reputation precedes them. Today, the 13,000 inhabitants live on less than one square kilometer. Within the Palestinian population the inhabitants themselves are  branded by the “refugee stigma” and are regarded to as the last link of the society.

Dheisheh Camp

The Palestine war in 1948, referred to the Palestinians as the Nakba, led to the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians from what is now Israel.  The Dheisheh Camp is one of 59 Palestinian refugee camps in the Middle East. The refugees came in 1948 from 19 different villages around Jerusalem. The location is south of Bethlehem, barely 20 km from Jerusalem. The proximity to their former villages was chosen in hopes of an early return.

Palestinian refugee camps are among the most densely populated areas in the world and the bad reputation precedes them. Today, the 13,000 inhabitants live on less than one square kilometer. Within the Palestinian population the inhabitants themselves are  branded by the “refugee stigma” and are regarded to as the last link of the society.

Parisian dreams

The difficult living conditions multiply for women. Not only politically and because of their refugee status, within the country Palestine, limited by walls, but also in a cultural sense. The prevailing, Islamic society and its culture gives them almost no rights and freedoms.

For this project, women from the refugee camp have sketched their hopes, wishes and ideas of their future on a white cardboard mask.

Copyright of all images Verena Andrea Prenner 2019