What We Do / Palestine: Unlimited


Photography from 10 Finalists in the Karimeh Abboud Award Competition

Palestine: Unlimited is an exhibition is derived from a signature initiative of Dar Al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem: a call to the best young photographers of Palestine to share interpretations of their country and its people. Here, ten finalists from the Karimeh Abboud Award Competition — named for a pioneering 20th century Palestinian female photographer — help us break through icons and stereotypes, in order to experience Palestine as it really is.

The Photos

Shown below are just a few of the photos featured in the exhibition.

The Finalists

Meet just a few of the finalists below. You can see the work of all the finalists and hear their personal stories at the exhibition.

Mohammed al-Kurd 

b. 1993, Jabalia

Mohammed is entirely Gazan: the Jabalia refugee camp shaped the person he is today.  He studied in the refugee camp’s schools and in 2014 received a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt.  As a child, he loved photography and was inspired by it. He found contentment observing the world around him from a distance until he became aware of the brutal reality around him.  A passion for photography created a paradox within him unleashing an overwhelming urge to contribute to this world through art.


Exhibited Artworks

Some DayWhen the Palestinian refugees of 1948 and 1967 left their homes, they took their keys with them, expecting to return after the war.  These same keys hold memories of lost homes and are lasting symbols of the “right of return”.

Prayer of the Returnees – This is a conceptual work of the dreams of Palestinians to return to the Holy Land.

Liberty we BreatheThis photo is from a debut collection of the same name.

Mohammad Shaloudi

b. 1994 – Jerusalem

Mohammad Shaloudi graduated from Dar al Aytam High School in the Old City of Jerusalem in 2012 and earned a certificate in Advanced Photography from Afaq College in Jerusalem where he completed 200 hours of theoretical and applied photography studies. He is pursuing a diploma in Cinema and Television Skills at Dar al-Kalima University of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem, Palestine.

Mohammad has worked on short and feature length documentaries as well as feature films. Among these are Ahraquo Al Radi’ea (They Burnt the Infant), the feature film ‘Ala Qayd Al Hayat (Alive) in 2016 and a seven – episode series about Palestinian prisoners. His current project is documenting human stories from Jerusalem’s Old City, for Al Jazeera Net.

Exhibited Artworks

Selling in the Souk – Among the crowds, a man seeks his means of support.

Searching for Livelihood – The unforgiving travails of an older man to support himself and his family.

Our Mother is Palestinian – To provide for her family, a woman sits in the road to attract buyers and sell her vegetables.

May Hirbawi

b. 1996, Jisr Al Zarqa

May volunteers at the Baladna Association for Arab Youth in Haifa, a non-profit with goals to strengthen democratic values in Palestinian Arab society, deepening Palestinian youth’s connection to national identity and collective memory while fostering male and female civic leadership. Additionally, she studies Art/Photography, using photography to express social and political issues from her own personal perspective.

Exhibited Artworks

Demolition Order – A Bedouin reads a demolition order:  his home will soon be confiscated and demolished.

Inside a Refugee Camp – This photograph depicts the intensity of crowdedness and the suffering of Palestinians in refugee camps attacked by tear gas during the Israeli military incursions.

Luay Sababa

b. 1983, Bethlehem

Luay studied mass media at the Bible College in Bethlehem. He works as a photography journalist in Palestine with a number of local and international news and press agencies.

Exhibited Artworks

Checkpoint 300This is the main checkpoint to enter or exit Bethlehem.  Palestinian workers who have managed to obtain authorization to work in Israel (calling it “the ticket to life”) are allowed to use only this checkpoint to travel to the other side, with one lane only opened for the more than 2,000 workers crossing every day seeking work.

When they arrive in darkness in the early hours of the morning, the wait is usually an exhausting and agonizing five hours.  The young men hanging onto the railings are workers who have the strength to maneuver further to the front of the line. This photo exposes the punishing journey thousands must make to reach jobs that help them survive the economic distress in areas controlled by the Israeli occupation.

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