Friday, February 17, 2012

Love Under Apartheid

Dear friends,
some of you may have already heard about the wonderful,moving and inspiring new project, Love Under ApartheidThe Love Under Apartheid project uses videos to document Palestinians' stories describing how interpersonal, intimate and familial relationships are affected by Israeli laws, occupation, and siege. 

Tanya Keilani, who found the project, describes on the Love Under Apartheid website how the project started.  Tanya writes:

"The Love Under Apartheid project developed after a particularly compelling conversation with a good friend about her relationship with her fiancé. We were having dinner when she shared her story, detailing the difficulties of maintaining her relationship, and concerns she and her fiancé have about the future. It was then that I fully understood the extent to which the Israeli apartheid system affects individuals by restricting a deeply personal right: their right to love. 
When we find a partner, we think about our futures: where will we live; what kind of home we will create; would we like children; if so, how many—but planning a future together isn’t the same for Palestinians.
Indigenous Palestinians have been living under Israeli military occupation for nearly 70 years now. Thinking about occupation historically and in the abstract, we may not comprehend the extent to which it affects the most private and intimate parts of Palestinian lives. My friend and her fiancé have already managed to defy the apartheid system by meeting, falling in love and becoming engaged to be married. These were huge obstacles to conquer, but even more difficulties lay ahead.
After reflecting on my friend’s story, I became outraged that, because of the Israeli occupation, she couldn’t be with the person she loved. I knew her story was not the only one of its kind, and proposed we collect those of others working to resist the apartheid that has defined and directed their lives.
In a place where love is made nearly impossible, these stories hope to capture singular moments of love in struggle. I hope you’ll watch the videos, share them with friends, family and loved ones, and join us in defending the right to love".
I have include two of the project's videos below.  You can support the project, contribute to its video collection and view more video by visiting the Love Under Apartheid website here.

in solidarity, Kim

 Yousef from Gaza hasn’t seen his mother’s side of the family in the West Bank in years because of the Israeli siege and travel restrictions imposed on Palestinians.

Nehad, whose name has been changed for security, and her husband have been married for nearly two decades. But they can’t live together in Nehad’s hometown because Israel won’t permit her husband to join her and their kids. As a result, their son’s special needs often go unmet and they are forced to live in an area of the Jerusalem district where neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority provide basic services like fire, police, and others.

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