15th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People

"Home is not so much where you're from, but where you belong". (Hamza, Palestinian Guide, refugee) // I've been here in the West Bank for a week, today. It's strange that I feel like calling this place "home", but the very people who truly belong here don't even have the security that this will continue to be their home. I've passed so many towns with the iconic statute of an old turnkey, memorializing how many refugee families still hold the keys to the homes they were kicked out of in the decades since 1948. More and more land is being annexed to Israel, especially since the erection of The Wall which goes further than agreed upon 1967 borders. Also, settlers who are illegally encroaching on land in the West Bank with no prosecution jeapordize the security for the future of many Palestinians. This place is so uncertain and every day there's arrests, shootings, house demolitions that are completely heart breaking and hopeless. But as our guide from the Jordan Valley today said, "We are sad about this struggle and sometimes we cry and sometimes we are angry, but we have hope. Don't be sad for us. We are still living life even in the midst of this. And we are enjoying the struggle"

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 08.2017
Date Uploaded: 11.2017
Photo Location: Bethlehem, Palestine, State of
Camera: NIKON D610
Copyright: © AnaMichele Babyak