Special Edition November 2015

Tamar Ben-Ozer, Israel

These are some pictures from a wildlife reserve near my house. Coexistence is everywhere in nature: snails live on cacti, and shrubbery will grow pretty much anywhere, even on brick walls.
But there’s a catch – this is a reserve because it sits on the remains of the Arab village Bashshit that was destroyed in 1948. I find it inspiring how even on the grounds of a battlefield, nature and beauty find a way to take hold, reminding us that coexistence is a natural part of life.

Areej Al Massri, Palestine

Almost a year after a devastating war, a group of Palestinian kids are enjoying their time in Sharm Park, which is considered one of the most beautiful places in Gaza strip. The children are seeing a flash of hope.

 

Moaiad, Syria

As I took these photos, a question came to my mind:
Where are the Human Rights?
Where are the people defending Human Rights?
This child lives a life of humiliation. He plays with sewage in an environment of germs, while people who fight for Human Rights, for his rights, are sleeping safely with their families… far from this refugee camp. Too many people are killed, too many women are raped, and too many children are buried alive.

 

Diana Ishaqat, Jordan

“Coexistence” between the inner and outer world of a story teller. I think that there is coexistence between the two and not contrast. The two worlds live in parallel within the same person’s mind and heart, and the line separating them isn’t a stone wall, borders or language, but imagination.

 

Yasser Machat, Tunisia

There are no strangers; only friends you haven’t met.

 

Ramah Aleryan, Egypt

If I tell you COEXISTENCE  the first thing that will come to your mind is: people living together from different religions, races, tribes, ideologies, nationalities etc. However, I found that I look at coexistence from a different angle. Coexistence for me is “surviving certain circumstances with a smile/satisfaction”. I took these photos with the assumption that the people and animals are living in certain circumstances with a certain level of satisfaction. The subjects in the photos are creating a space in which they are satisfied regardless of age, illness, closed doors, poverty and sunny environment.

 

Ghada Jalal, Morocco

“One was a book I read by Mahatma Gandhi. It  had a passage where he says that religion, the pursuing of the inner journey, should not be separated from the pursuing of the outer and social journey, because we are not isolated beings.” – Satish Kumar
Coexistence is about acceptance, tolerance and respect. We never chose our culture, traditions or beliefs. Sadly, most of us never thought about being open to other cultures and traditions. Thus, culture shock is the first thing that happens whenever we leave our box. Then we feel offended, scared and/or lonely. However the best way to move on, is to learn how to accept others, tolerate their differences and respect them.

This picture is from a school project organized in a rural area to teach children about coexistence and equality. Children were asked to mark the wall with their hands using paint which gave birth to a beautiful painting.

 

Yasser Al-Harri, Syria

Nearly 100,000 refugees live in the Zaatari camp in Jordan, a Syrian refugee camp. They have been living there for three years now, and despite religious and cultural differences, they have developed a loving, intimate relationship.

 

Zohar Yanko, Israel

Traces of sanity

I took a short walk in the streets of Jaffa in order to try and find some fractions of hope in a crazy, crazy reality. It wasn’t easy. The familiar streets are filled with hate, suspicion and fear. I found the first graffiti “I don’t have another land”- written in both Hebrew and Arabic. Later I found “enough with the occupation” and finally “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies”.
Along the way I came to think of coexistence as a brave choice of where and how to look the world.

 

Destiny Ruth Obiakoeze, Nigeria

Coexistence is Key to Survival

These are photographs I took at a Children’s home. All the kids come from different blood lines and different parents but have been thrust by fate to live together as brothers and sisters. They do not know their parents but they have each other. It is the only life they know. They eat together, play together, go to school together and do most everyday activities together. As long as their lives are concerned, co-existence is the key to survival. Loving, caring, being…everything. In the world that we live in every human must learn to co-exist with others, one way or another.

 

Lana Khalid, Iraq

These pictures represent coexistence between old and new. The Kurds experience in Iraq the juxtaposition of westernization and old Kurdish culture and architecture in the same space.

 

Fade Abed Alkareem, a Syrian refugee

Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan:  The people were relocated to another country, yet you can still find co-existence in the camps, despite the diversity of religions and ethnicity.

 

Amr, Palestine

Photos from around the Gaza strip- representing coexistence between generations, nature, and the city.

 

Nimrod Gornstein, Israel

It took me 40 days to walk across Israel from its most southern point on the shore of the Dead Sea to its northern corner on the Lebanese border.

1000 Kilometers long, the trail is called The Israel National Trail, marked Orange White and Blue, symbolizing the desert, the sea and the snow you encounter along the road.

Unlike other trails all over the world, this trail has a unique advantage of giving the hiker the possibility of being the guest of “trail angles” – people living on villages and cities on the trail and willing to host hikers for free, giving them a warm shower, dinner and a roof for a night.  I was lucky enough to be a guest of a farmer’s family, a Bedouin tribe, a rich millionaire living in the richest street in the country and an artist who hosted us in his Tippy-tent in the mountains outside Jerusalem.

The trail gave me not only a landscape picture of Israel but also a cultural portrait of its inhabitants. The best example for coexistence in Israel might be hidden not in negotiations or ideology, but in walking by foot through the land and its people.

 

Weam, Syria

A message from Syrian students studying in the Zaatari refugee camp:

It is not a shame if we fall down, but it will be if we don’t arise again. There is no despair with life, and there’s no life with despair. You killed my dad, mom, sister and brother, but you can’t kill my will to live.

 

Abderrahmane Ait Lqous, Morocco

Since I was a little boy, people in my neighborhood have been fighting about who has the right to take this land. In 2011 after I started my organization,  we suggested to build a community park so everyone could benefit from it. The man in the picture helped me looking for funding. I took the photo in his pottery workshop while he was making this beautiful piece. Marrakech is a city full of tourists from all over the world, it reminds me how much we need to accept others no matter how different they may be. When we finally got the grant to build the park, I told my niece. Now she keeps asking me: “Uncle take me to my garden to play.”

 

Naaman Frenkel, Israel

Pictures from my visit to Petra:

 

Mohammad Oqla, Syria

Short story about coexistence

Meet my five daughters, who coexist in our little world at Zaatari refugee camp. My oldest daughter’s name is Shahd, she irrigates the flowers in the garden, while my second daughter, A’ahed fills the water for cleaning. My third daughter, Wa’aed, takes care of her youngest sister, Farah, who loves to laugh and waits for her sisters to play with her. My forth daughter is Marah, she loves to watch and bother her sisters while they do their housework.

 

Haneen, Palestine

We all have the spirit of peace, love and childhood inside us. We have to search for our inner child who didn’t recognize the differences between Muslims, Christians and Jews. We are all the same, we have to be on this planet with peace and love, because humanity has no nationality.

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