Life in Gaza

Visual Sunday

A family in Gaza City enjoys a picnic on the beach, one of the few options left to families who are unable to escape the siege.
High school students enjoy a field trip on the Mediterranean Sea off the Gazan coast. The ten minute boat ride is an adventure as the siege on Gaza does not allow them to travel outside of the enclave.

“This coastal community has absorbed over 60 years of suffering, and still, in face of adversity, maintains an enduring but necessary talent for survival and humor.”

Tanya Habjouqa, an East Jerusalem-based photographer, comments on her photo series Women of Gaza, a selection of which is featured below. Habjouqa, who was born in Jordan and educated in the US, who works on projects that explore socio-political dynamics, occupation, and subcultures of the Levant.

In regards to what is happening in Gaza at the moment, Mashallah would like to share Habjouqa’s photos as a tribute to its people and a reminder of their long-standing hardships.

Tanya Habjouqa

Young women exercise in a gym belonging to a women’s association. As religious sentiments have grown strong across Gaza, these associations are increasingly important. Also, with a crippled economy and government under siege, they offer relief to the community where others cannot. These services include daycare, orphan assistance, the teaching of crafts, beauty salons and spaces to exercise.

Tanya habjouqa

A young girl relaxes at her family farm’s “vacation spot” on the outskirts of Gaza city. To travel as tourists is next to impossible for the majority of Gazans due to the siege, but people remain creative and hopeful. For this girl and her friends, BBQs with the family remains a top day off from school.

student - Tanya habjouqa

An English literature student at the Islamic University in Gaza takes a break with her fellow students. She is eager to apply her English skills and says that her dream is to travel the world. The siege on Gaza makes traveling near impossible for almost all Gazans.

Tanya habjouqa

High school students playing on Facebook after completing homework. Online social networking is increasingly becoming the main outlet for youth in Gaza to connect with others outside the territory.

Gaza Beach - Tanya Habjouqa

A boy on a horse on Gaza beach.

Moemen Faiz - Tanya Habjouqa

Moemen Faiz, a photographer, sits with his new wife Deema Ayideh at the couple’s home in Gaza. Faiz was injured during Israel’s assault on Gaza in the winter of 2008-09, and was later flown to Saudi Arabia where he received treatment. The two fell in love when Ayideh, who is a journalist, interviewed Faiz at the hospital. They married soon after.

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