Photos of Palestinian life and Israeli occupation in the West Bank city of Hebron.
The Festival of Ramadan
Pictured here: The Old City of Hebron is joyful and celebratory for the Festival of Ramadan. Flickering yellow, green and red lights dangle decoratively from ornate strings, lighting up the place and creating a bright and festive atmosphere. Ramadan is a joyous festival and people look forward to it. It is considered the most sacred month in the Islamic year.
Pictured here: During Ramadan there is a focus on spiritual discipline. From sunrise to sunset, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, and smoking. Many people go to the mosques for the night prayers and study the Quran, some people will read the Quran three to four times over the course of Ramadan. Due to these late evenings of breaking fast and praying, shops open later in the day.
Friday noon prayer
Pictured here: The Friday Noon Prayer during Ramadan is very special to Muslims all over the world. The Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron is considered the fourth holiest shrine in Islam, as it enshrines the tombs of the Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Joseph. During Ramadan Muslims from different parts of the West Bank flock to this Mosque for the noon prayer. Worshippers overflow into the street outside of the Mosque. There is an air of reverence as soon as the Imam starts the prayer.
Ramadan is generosity
Pictured here: In the several hours before sunset, the market becomes a bustling place as people buy last minute food items for their Iftar (fast breaking) meal. Generosity abounds everywhere you look. After taking this picture, we were each offered a piece of candy. Families, friends, and strangers invite each other to Iftar. Shopkeepers told us that the local soup kitchen is open everyday during Ramadan and serves meat and other donated food to ensure that everyone has plenty to eat when they break fast.
Pictured here: A usually bustling place, the souq now wears a deserted look. Where are the people? It is evening, after sunset, and time for families to come together to break the fast and enjoy Iftar. It is a joyful time, when families and friends get together in homes or in restaurants. The fast is typically broken with dates and water or juice. This is followed by a bowl of soup and then the main meal begins. The meal is concluded with “katayef,” a pancake stuffed with walnuts or cheese and soaked in syrup. Once the Iftar meal is over people come out to streets and celebrate. This can go on until the early hours of the morning.
Last day of school