Palestinian lensman skips expo opening as Gaza home razed by Israeli attacks

 08 Aug 2014 - 1:52

FROM LEFT: Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, General Manager, Katara, Dr Yahya Zakaria Al Agha, Adviser, Palestinian embassy, Munir Ghannam, Palestinian Ambassador, and Ahmad Yousef Al Khulaifi, Chairman, Qatar Photographic Society, look at one of the photos at ‘Gaza ... Hope’ expo which opened in Building No 18, Katara, yesterday. Baher Amin

DOHA: Award-winning Palestinian photographer Ali Nurudeen could not attend the opening of his exhibition at Katara yesterday because he was forced to stay with his family as his home in Gaza had been destroyed by Israeli attacks.
Katara General Manager, Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, Palestinian Ambassador, Munir Ghannam, and Qatar Photographic Society Chairman, Ahmad Yousef Al Khulaifi, opened Nurudeen’s ‘Gaza..Hope’ expo at Katara Building 18.
Open until September 8, the expo showcases 50 photos depicting the suffering of people in Gaza and challenges they are facing daily in the absence of basic supplies. 
Nurudeen told organisers by the telephone that this was not the first time he was not able to attend the opening of his exhibition overseas because of such situation.
He said one of the difficulties he faced as photographer was not being able to draw a line between his life and the message he wanted to convey through his camera. 
“It is not easy because many times I find myself and my family and people I love being essential part of my story. 
“In 2012, my house was destroyed by an Israeli missile; I heard the news that one house was destroyed, not knowing it was mine and that my son and sister were seriously injured.
“This makes me say that my personal life is part of the story,” Nurudeen said.
He stressed how journalists put their lives at risk just to provide the public with facts as they cover armed conflicts, poverty, political conflicts and human rights issues, adding that he was determined to continue his mission regardless of the difficulties he might face and he would convey the truth to the world through his camera.
One of the photos displayed at the exhibition which had a profound impact on him was of a family which had lost most of its members. He could only take two or three photos of them.
“I couldn’t take more photos because I was afraid of their reaction. I sat and cried with them instead of taking more photos,” he said.
Dr Al Sulaiti said the exhibition was in line with the launch of the festival of solidarity in support of Gaza tonight. He called upon the private sector to contribute to this initiative to help alleviate the suffering of people in Gaza.
“The photos displayed in the expo reflect the daily problems people in Gaza are facing. The people show hope and determination amid suffering caused by the destruction of buildings and challenges of the siege imposed since 2007,” said Al Khulaifi.