This is Jamal Jacob, a school teacher from Darfur. In 2003, the Sudanese government and local militias known as Janjaweed attacked his village and killed many, including his father. Jamal’s family escaped to a refugee camp but the regime’s persecution did not stop and he was forced to flee his country. In 2008, following many hardships along the way, Jamal arrived to Israel as an asylum seeker.
These pictures were taken last summer near the Holot detention center in southern Israel, where Jamal was held for entering the country illegally. He was forced to stay there for 17 months without a trial, as part of an Israeli policy designed to pressure the asylum seekers to leave. Today, following a Supreme Court decision, Jamal is free from Holot. He is working and trying to pursue academic studying. Despite what he has been through, his belief in humanity and in his own personal potential hasn’t changed. He is waiting for the day when peace will come to his homeland, and he will be able to return and help his community to build a better future.
**The pictures are still frames from a short documentary directed by Iris Lanchiano. You can watch it here – https://vimeo.com/136554400