Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Day 3- 2nd march of Afghan asylum seekers for their rights / 2eme marche des Afghans pour leurs droits

 Children and women joined the march by bus from Brussels

(c) Anne Paq/Activestills.org

Hundreds of Afghan asylum-seekers and their supporters arrived at Gent after a three day march to raise awareness on their plight. They demand residency rights to legally stay in Belgium.

Des centaines de demandeurs d'asile afghans et leurs supporters sont arrivés à Gent après une marche de trois jours pour sensibiliser le public sur leur situation. Ils réclament le droit de résidence afin de séjourner légalement en Belgique.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

2nd march of Afghan asylum seekers for their rights / 2eme marche des Afghans pour leurs droits

(c) Anne Paq/Activestills.org, 11.01.2014, Belgium

Hundreds of Afghan asylum seekers together with supporters started a three-day march in Belgium, from Brussels to Gent to highlight their situation and demand protection from Belgium. This is their second march in less than a month.

Des centaines de demandeurs d'asile afghans avec leur supporters ont commencé aujourd'hui une marche  de trois jours en Belgique, de Bruxelles à Gent pour sensibiliser le public belge à leur situation et demander la protection de la Belgique. Il s'agit de leur deuxième marche en moins d'un mois.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Best photos- 2013 looking back and ahead

Its always good at the end of the year to take a step back and look again to what the last year was made of.
Looking at my photos; there are a strong reflection of my interests. I again covered many events; mainly in the West Bank, mainly demonstrations characterized by the brutality of the repression by the Israeli authorities. I continue also to document the long strangulation of Al Walaja village, which will be soon totally surrounded by the Wall. The end of the year was not happy for this village, as I heard that the olive trees of my friend Hisham were uprooted to make room for a new road connected to the Separation Wall. I went back to Gaza Strip after having documenting in November 2012 the Israeli military assault Pillar of Defense. I met again with the victims and survivors. Their steadfastness despite tragedy was incredibly moving. But in 2013 I turned also to other struggle as I settle in Europe: the asylum seekers who seeks refuge from conflict in their country. To say the least, they are not always welcomed as this group of Afghans in Belgium that I have started to follow from September. They are leading an inspiring and difficult struggle to obtain the protection, even temporary, and the papers which will allow them to live in dignity. I will be following them again this Saturday for another March for Freedom.

From Gaza; to the West Bank, and Belgium; everywhere I have witnessed and documented the consequences of intolerable unjust policies but also everywhere I met incredible activists or just people who stand up against injustice, pick up the piece of their lives and rise up again and keep showing us the way. They give me the strength to continue this work.

See below a selection of some of my 2013 pictures. Also visit the amazing collection of  2013 Activestills which makes me so proud to be part of this collective.


 Il est toujours intéressant à la fin de l'année de prendre du recul et de regarder à nouveau ce dont l'année a été faite.
En regardant mes photos,  mes centres d' intérêts qui y émergent sont assez clairs. J'ai à nouveau couvert de nombreux événements, principalement en Cisjordanie, et surtout des manifestations caractérisées par la brutalité de la répression par les autorités israéliennes. J'ai continué aussi à documenter la longue strangulation de village d'Al Walaja , qui sera bientôt complètement entourée par le Mur . La fin de l'année ne s'est pas finie sur une note optimiste dans ce village.  Les oliviers de mon ami Hisham ont été déracinés/détruits pour faire place à une nouvelle route liée à la construction du Mur de Séparation. Je suis retournée dans la bande de Gaza après avoir documenté en Novembre 2012  l'assaut militaire israélien "Pillar of defence. J'ai rencontré à nouveau avec les victimes et les survivants . Leur volonté de vivre et leur dignité malgré la tragédie qui les a frappés ont été très émouvantes à documenter. Mais en 2013 je me suis aussi tournée vers d'autres luttes alors que je me suis installée en Europe : celle des demandeurs d'asile qui cherche refuge en Europe, fuyant pour beaucoup des conflits et situations intenables dans leur pays d'origine. Le moins qu'on puisse dire c'est qu'ils ne sont pas toujours bien accueillis comme ce groupe d'Afghans en Belgique que j'ai commencé à suivre à partir de Septembre. Ils mènent une lutte sans relâche pour obtenir une protection, même temporaire, et des papiers qui leur permettraient de vivre décemment. Je vais les suivre à nouveau ce samedi pour un autre Mars pour la liberté .

De Gaza; en passant par la Cisjordanie , et la Belgique, j'ai été la témoin et documenté les conséquences de politiques intolérables et profondément injustes mais aussi j'ai rencontré partout des militants incroyables ou simplement des gens qui se battent contre l'injustice  ramassent les morceau de leur vie détruite, se relèvent et continuent de nous montrer le chemin. Ils me donnent la force de continuer ce travail .

Voir ci-dessous une sélection de quelques unes de mes photos 2013 . Visitez également l'incroyable collection de 2013 Activestills qui me rend si fiere de faire partie de ce collectif .

Bedouin children playing in their home, in a Bedouin neighborhood of Gaza city,
January 23, 2013. Most families depend on humanitarian aid for survival.

Jamal al-Dalu in his shop in the old city market in Gaza City, February 19, 2013. Jamal lost 10 family members including his wife, one of his sons, a daughter-in-law, two daughters, a sister and four grandchildren after his home was struck by what appears to have been a large aerial bomb. At the time of the attack, Jamal was with his son, Abdallah. Jamal returned to work in his shop just two weeks after the attack. He currently lives with two of his sons and a daughter-in-law in a house rented for them by the government. "All the happy life is gone now,” says Jamal. “30 years of marriage and suddenly I lost most of my family members. It's good that I haven't lost my mind yet, or my health."

Women, many of whom were affected by the Israeli attack, after a psycho-social group session in a private home in Beit Lahiya, February 18, 2013.

Palestinian children walking by demolished buildings of the Civil department of the Interior Ministry heavily bombed during last November's Israeli assault against the Gaza Strip, February 10, 2013.

A Palestinian suffers from tear gas inhalation during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the Old city of Hebron after the funeral of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh who died two days earlier in Israeli custody, Hebron, West Bank April 4, 2013. Hamdiyeh died shortly after being transferred from prison to 'Soroka' hospital in late March, suffering from throat cancer which had spread to his spinal cord. Before his death, he had complained of medical neglect by the Israeli prison authorities.

Israeli border policemen attack protesters during a Nakba Day commemoration protest at Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem, May 15, 2013. The Nakba, literally translated as the "catastrophe," refers to the massive deportation of more than 700,000 Palestinian, made refugees and driven out of what became the State of Israel in 1948.

Hisham Abu Ali standing next to new concrete foundations and road in Al Walaja village, West Bank, November 12, 2013. Hisham stands on his family's land, through which the new road will pass, destroying 50 of their olive trees in its path. It is still unclear what the purpose of this new road is, except that this is connected to the building of the Separation Wall around the village. The Abu Ali family owns around 30 dunams of land that will remain on the other side of the Separation Wall. Once completed, the Separation Wall will surround Al Walaja village completely, 360 degrees, and residents will be cut off from most of their land.

Absiya Jafari, aged more than 100 year-old, holds a Palestinian passport issued during the British Mandate, belonging to her husband and herself, Al Walaja, West Bank, November 23, 2013. The original village of Al Walaja was completely destroyed in 1948 during the Nakba and all villagers were forced to leave and became refugees. 75 per cent of the village’s original 17,793 dunums of land was lost in 1948. Many went to Jordan, Lebanon, and Bethlehem areas. After some time; a new village was built beyond the Green Line. A Separation Wall is currently built all around the village and residents will be cut off from most of their land.

Protesters hold a sign reading "Closed Centers Humiliate Humanity," during a demonstration in support of asylum seekers and against current European migration policies, Brussels, Belgium, October 19, 2013. The demonstration occurred two weeks after the the shipwreck off the Italian island Lampedusa that left 359 migrants dead. This is the worst immigration tragedy for Italy in more than a decade.

Afghan asylum seekers living in a abandoned school for the past week, Brussels, Belgium, November 1, 2013. Hundreds of Afghan asylum seekers live in the abandoned school building in difficult conditions. They have been protesting for months, demanding asylum and protection from Belgium. Belgium has been involved in the Afghan conflict for 10 years. Without papers, Afghan asylum seekers cannot work or find decent housing. They are around 2.7 million Afghans who continue to live in exile and some 450,000 are internally displaced.

An Afghan asylum seeker inside the church of the Beguinage used as a temporary shelter in the city center of Brussels, Belgium, December 7, 2013. Hundreds of Afghan asylum seekers live in the church in difficult conditions, with only two toilets. They have been protesting for months, demanding asylum and protection from Belgium

Afghans wearing a sign reading "We are not dangerous, we are in danger" during a march held by hundreds of Afghan asylum seekers from Brussels to Mons in Belgium on December 20, 2013. The 70-km march scheduled for three days intends to raise awareness on the precarious situation of the Afghan asylum seekers who demand protection from Belgium.