Life in a war zone seen through the eyes of a child

Children of Palestine is a series of poignant images taken by kids in the West Bank during a summer workshop held by the UAE-based Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.

A photo taken by one of the children. Courtesy Palestine Children's Relief Fund
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Anna Seaman reports

This summer, a group of photographers visited the Tulkarem refugee camp in the West Bank and put cameras in the hands of the children living there.

At the workshop, organised by the UAE-based Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) for refugees across Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan, volunteers paired able-bodied children with those who are physically challenged and asked them to record moments in their daily lives.

The results – honest, simple photos depicting life under harsh conditions – are now on display at Gulf Photo Plus, Dubai, in a show titled Children of Palestine: Beyond Numbers.

Hala Salhi, the co-director of the gallery, hopes it will raise awareness of the plight of the children and PCRF’s work.

“Palestinian children live under extreme conditions of an occupation,” says Salhi. “They have witnessed the horrors of many wars, yet they – a lot like other children – they enjoy playing and being creative, and they love taking pictures. This summer, they had a chance to escape, to have fun and tell their stories with a camera.

“By hosting this event in support of the PCRF, we hope to raise awareness of the remarkable work that they do for children in Palestine and across the region, and highlight the many ways in which individuals can make a difference to their lives.”

Also in the exhibition is work by the West Bank-based Eloise Bollack, a French photographer whose hard-hitting, raw images capture families caught in the recent 50-day war in Gaza. Steve Sosebee, the chief executive of PCRF, says he is thrilled to be working with Gulf Photo Plus to share these images with the public: “Palestinian children live through times of peace and times of war. These images reflect their extraordinary resilience, creativity and the strength of the human spirit. We hope to help even more children in our 2015 summer camps.”

Children of Palestine: Beyond Numbers runs at Gulf Photo Plus, Alserkal Avenue until October 30