Photo Essay: Humans of Bethlehem

Samer Bandak

Humans of Bethlehem continues Palestine Square‘s new photographic focus on Palestinian cities and villages in historic Palestine. Every focus will be made up of readers’ photographs submitted to Palestine Square. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram to learn about our next selection and how to send us your photographs!

Moncho Iglesias
Moncho Iglesias
Michael Maria
Michael Maria
Michael Maria
Michael Maria

The Road In Bethlehem

Michael Maria
Michael Maria
Marjaliisa Valtanen
Marjaliisa Valtanen
Juliana Campagna
Juliana Campagna
Lora B
Lora B
Samantha Jaser
Samantha Jaser
Juliana Campagna
Juliana Campagna
Michael Maria
Michael Maria
Juliana Campagna
Juliana Campagna
af7.Igrexa da Natividade,Belén
Moncho Iglesias
Sarah Abdel-Qader
Sarah Abdel-Qader
Michael Maria
Michael Maria
Dheisheh refugee camp. Juliana Campagna
Dheisheh refugee camp. Juliana Campagna
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Sarah Abdel-Qader
Lora B.
Lora B.
Michael Maria
Michael Maria
Michael Maria
Michael Maria
Juliana Campagna
Juliana Campagna

The Separation Barrier 

Moncho Iglesias
Moncho Iglesias

In 2002, Israel started unilaterally building a Segregation Wall to further separate the West Bank from East Jerusalem and annex Israeli block settlements, namely Ma’ale Adumim, Giv’at Ze’ev, and Gush Etzion, to Israel. The Segregation Wall started first at Rachel’s Tomb north of Bethlehem city with Jerusalem’s border. The planned trajectory of the Wall would intrude approximately ten kilometers into the Bethlehem city-region, running a total length of 78 kilometers and isolating approximately 161 km² (i.e. 26 percent of the Bethlehem city-region) of land and water resources, thus putting Bethlehem’s inhabitants in limbo.

– Flexible Frontiers: What Future for Bethlehem Apart from Jerusalem? by Ahmad El-Atrash in the Jerusalem Quarterly.
Moncho Iglesias
Moncho Iglesias
Khelil Bouarrouj.
Moncho Iglesias
Moncho Iglesias
Moncho Iglesias
Moncho Iglesias
DSCF0209
Moncho Iglesias
DSCF0207
Moncho Iglesias
DSCF0229
Moncho Iglesias
Dina Kasbary
Dina Kasbary

In total 120 stories have been attached to the Wall. The stories show women’s sumud or steadfastness when practicing caring and justice in daily life. The stories relay the need to heal, hold together the home, and uphold life over destruction. An older woman saves young men from being beaten by soldiers. Another saves an Israeli baby after losing her own unborn child due to teargas. In a fantasy story, some teenage girls imagine a dove snatching the soul of a killed boy to bring a message of peace. A woman does not let herself be intimidated by a soldier who does not want her to hang her laundry outside. Another tells how she is shot during her courageous daily returns to pre-1948 fields. A child holds the hand of her father to prevent him from leaving during the 1967 war.

– The “Wall Museum” – Palestinian Stories on the Wall in Bethlehem by Rania Murra and Toine Van Teeffelen in the Jerusalem Quarterly.
Moncho Iglesias
Moncho Iglesias

Christmas in Bethlehem 

Samantha Jaser
Samantha Jaser
Samantha Jaser
Samantha Jaser

. . .

For our Humans of series, Palestine Square is teaming up with paltrips.ps.

paltrips.ps is an online travel and urban guide to Palestine, aiming at breaking stereotypes and promoting an alternative experience of Palestinian cities by mixing texts, pictures and sounds.

Similar to tourist guides, paltrips.ps offers practical information and advice (such as whether to rent a car, taxi or walk), maps and contacts for travelers. It also presents a cultural and literary dimension. Prospective visitors to Palestine will find plenty of insider information on where to sleep, eat and drink, monuments and museums, exciting trails off the beaten path, the latest on local artists and musicians, and even local recipes.

Check out their guide to Bethlehem: 

Bethlehem, and its two adjacent cities (Beit Jala uphill, Beit Sahour downhill) have so much more to offer to those who are willing to go beyond the religious itinerary.

Discover the different music ensembles of its excellent conservatory, take a short hike in the neighboring mountains or in the olive groves of Cremisan and treat yourself, as the sun sets, to a feast at the Hosh Al-Yasmine organic farm before topping it all off with a drink or two at Taboo.

The main goal of paltrips.ps is to create a collaborative platform that gathers young professionals from different nationalities who can illustrate the reality of Palestine and the Palestinians. You can always contribute to paltrips.ps by contacting their team.

Learn more about paltrips.ps on their website or Facebook and Instagram.

The following photographs of Bethlehem have been provided by paltrips.ps:

paltrip
© Qais Assali
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Hosh al-Yasmine organic farm and restaurant in Beit Jala. © Qais Assali
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Hosh al-Yasmine organic farm and restaurant in Beit Jala. © Qais Assali
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The 2015 Palestine International Marathon celebrated the third annual “Right to Movement” relay from Manger Square to the separation barrier, the Aida refugee camp, the al-Khader village, and back to the Square with over 3200 runners from 50 different countries. © Jamal Saad
Palestine Marathon 05
The 2015 Palestine International Marathon. © Jamal Saad
Palestine Marathon 08
The 2015 Palestine International Marathon. © Jamal Saad
The 2015 Palestine International Marathon. © Jamal Saad
The 2015 Palestine International Marathon. © Jamal Saad

Right to Movement 2015 photo-gallery

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Columns of the Church of the Nativity. © Firas Mukarker
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© Dalia Dabdoub
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© Dalia Dabdoub
© Dalia Dabdoub
© Dalia Dabdoub
Battir landscape comprises a series of farmed valleys, known as widian, with characteristic stone terraces, some of which are irrigated for market garden production, while others are dry and planted with grapevines and olive trees. © Qais Assali
Battir landscape comprises a series of farmed valleys, known as widian, with characteristic stone terraces, some of which are irrigated for market garden production, while others are dry and planted with grapevines and olive trees. © Qais Assali

Battir photo-gallery

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Mar Saba. © Qais Assali

Landscapes of Bethlehem photo-gallery 

Update:

Additional photographs submitted by readers after the post’s initial publication will be added below.

Kathryn Medien
Kathryn Medien
Kathryn Medien
Kathryn Medien
Kathryn Medien
Kathryn Medien

See Humans of Nablus.