Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wall Art - Ayda Refugee Camp

Ayda Refugee Camp lies on the border of Bethlehem, and is a camp for Palestinians who were displaced from their lands in 1948. Ayda Refugee Camp is also bordered by the Separation Wall (also referred to as the Apartheid Wall).
The dwellings in the camp are crammed together and don't seem to be built in any consistent manner or form. People are left to build what they can. Trash litters the camp, especially the area near the wall.
Despite, the trash, the wall is one of the most captivating parts of the camp. From a high rooftop in the camp, you can see the illegal Israeli settlement which lies on the other side of the wall (yet still within the West Bank). There is a stark contrast between the modern, clean, and roomy homes of the settlement and the shantytown that is Ayda Refugee Camp.
One of the forms of resistance in this camp, is art (read: grafitti). The ugly wall boxes these people in and separates them from lands to which they should have access. Nevertheless, much of the wall has been transformed in a wall of resistance. It has become a place to voice your anger, concern, frustration, or your dreams of a revolution. Some people paint pictures, some write phrases, but all seem to challenge the status quo. All the art points at the injustice that this wall is and that this occupation is. Here is a sampling of the art of Ayda Refugee Camp. Enjoy.

This one really got my thinking, when people ask me whether I support the one-state or the two-state solution, as a Christian I should say, "I support the no-state solution. God's kingdom isn't divided up by people groups, walls, or nation-states. I support coexistence. I support love."

Both of these show the image of the key. Many Palestinian families were told they needed nothing more then their house keys because they would return in a matter of days. The key also represents the belief that one day, Palestinians will return to their homes and villages.

And finally...turning this occupation upside down.

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