Photographing disability rights in Gaza Medical Aid for Palestinians

In September MAP embarked on an exciting photography project with Palestinians with disabilities in Gaza. The project supported people with disabilities to tell their own stories through photography, raising awareness locally and internationally of disability rights and the barriers to them in Gaza.

Here are some of the photos the group took, and the messages they sought to convey to the world through their pictures:

"If public transport was accessible for people with disabilities, I would not need any help from anyone, and I wouldn't wait for long time to get around."

"I dream of continuing my education and getting a Master Degree. My disability should not stop me from living a normal life and pursuing my higher education."

"Women in my society face all types of violence, including sexual abuse. Imagine the situation of a woman with a disability, we face twice the violence and abuse."

"No one can beat my pizza, as I make the best one in Gaza. However, no restaurant is willing to hire me."

"I wish to play like everyone else."

"The Israeli blockade prevented my treatment outside Gaza and consequently I was unable to save my eye."

"These stairs have great motivational phrases, but I am not capable of climbing them."
"The way society sees me is different from the way I see myself."

"I wish to be proactive in society, but the streets and public spaces are inaccessible for me, which makes me feel frustrated."

"Marriage is a far away dream for women with disabilities."

"Even though the sea and sand are inaccessible for my wheelchair, it still manages to make feel better, as a butterfly flying over the water but incapable of touching it."

"It should be our right as people with disabilities in general, and as athletes in particular, to travel and participate in competitions outside Gaza and represent Palestine."
"The electricity power goes out all the time in Gaza, and this has a negative impact on everyone. Imagine the impact on people with visual impairments."

"During the Israeli military offensive on Gaza, I lost my home and my white cane, my only guide to see. When will these wars stop?"

"The electricity power outages damage our assistive devices, which are essential to our daily lives."
"I am capable of teaching children the sign language, as it is my mother tongue."
"I went to the beach and enjoyed the view, but I really had a hard time reaching it as it is inaccessible for my wheelchair."

"Football has always been the game that gives me strength."

"If the waiter knew sign language, then he would have understood what I wanted."

"The only time I feel that I have a disability is when my assistive device gets broken and no one can fix it."

"My hobby became my source of income, but the Israeli blockade is suffocating my income as I cannot reach out to any market outside Gaza."

"The labor law did me justice, but their office did not."

On 3 December, MAP and our Gaza-based partners the Nuseirat Rehabilitation and Social Training Association and the Social Developmental Forum, were delighted to celebrate International Day for People with Disabilities with a photography exhibition held jointly in both Gaza and London.

Over 100 people attended the exhibition in Gaza
Several journalists covered the exhibition and interviewed the photographers and the team involved
Media channels covering the event included BBC Arabic, Al Arabiya TV, and local Palestinian news agency An-Najah NBC

Visitors heard from participants about their photographs and the important issues they raise

MAP’s team in Gaza reflected on the confidence of the photographers when discussing their work.

The London exhibition at the P21 Gallery was also well-attended, and many members of the public said they were moved by the photographs and their captions, and from hearing from participants through short videos.

MAP staff from Palestine and UK discussed the project, and outlined the important next steps for ensuring the participants’ voices are heard by influential political decision-makers in Palestine and the UK.

Visit MAP's website to learn more about the project, hear from the participants and register your interest to host the photos in your local community.

Created By
Medical Aid for Palestinians