Love Under Apartheid

Palestinians daring to defy apartheid with love.

love (n): 1. Strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
apartheid (n): 1. A policy or system of segregation or discrimination

Dina and Ahmed long to live at homeDina is a Palestinian citizen of Israel and Ahmed is a Palestinian refugee with Gaza residency. The discriminatory Israeli Citizenship Law (up for renewal this year) and ban on family unification does not allow them to live together in their homeland. The only way they can currently stay together is by living in another country. Despite these obstacles, Dina and Ahmed love each other, and were married in 2012 in Amsterdam, Holland.
Yousef’s mother reunites with her family after 12 years without a permit Love isn’t just about romance. It’s about family and community too. Yousef is a Palestinian descendant of refugees from what is now called Israel. After the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, his mother’s side of the family fled to the West Bank, and his father’s family fled to Gaza. When his mother married his father, she had to relinquish her right to freely visit her family the West Bank. Permits are rarely issued by Israel. This photo is of Yousef’s mother, finally united with her family for a short visit, after 12 years of separation.Click here to hear Yousef’s story. 
Mohammed was banned from attending his own wedding“What did I do wrong? All I wanted was to get married,” writes Mohammed, a Palestinian American that has lived in both Palestine and Chicago. Mohammed was engaged to Marjan, a Palestinian living in the West Bank. They were set to be married until Israel denied him entry and blocked him from attending his own wedding. The couple was forced to marry in Chicago, far away from Marjan’s family and friends.
Dina and Ahmed hope to build a life together at homeDina and Ahmed navigate married life in their new home. They will live in Amsterdam until they can find a way to live together in their native land. Because of the Israeli Citizenship Law, which bans family unification for Palestinians, their future is uncertain. Dina and Ahmed still long to read a map that leads home.
Yousef was denied a permit to attend his grandparent’s funeralYousef is a Palestinian descendant of refugees from what is now called Israel. After 1948, Yousef’s grandparents fled to the West Bank. Yousef lives in Gaza, and Israel never permitted him to visit his grandparents. When they died, Yousef and his family in Gaza were denied a permit to attend the funeral. This is a photo of his grandparent’s gravestone in Jericho.Click here to hear Yousef’s story. 
Louay and Areen are forced to live far from their loved ones so that they can stay together. 
Louay is a Palestinian originally from Lifta (near Jerusalem) that was exiled to Gaza, and his wife Areen is from 1948 occupied lands. She is a Palestinian citizen of Israel. They were married in August of 2013, despite the obstacles they face as Palestinians. As a citizen of Israel, Areen is forbidden from living in Gaza with her spouse unless she gives up her citizenship and the right to ever see her family again. Due to the Israeli Citizenship Law, Louay is not permitted to live with Areen in her hometown, so the only way they can be together is outside of their homes, in Turkey. 
Taiseer from Akka and Lana from Jenin worry the Citizenship Law will separate their family.
Taiseer is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, and his wife Lana is a Palestinian from Jenin, in the West Bank. Though Lana has lived and obtained residency in Taiseer’s hometown of Akka, the discriminatory Israeli Citizenship Law threatens their family with separation. Lana has a driver’s license, but is unable to drive, a college degree, but is unable to work. She lives in constant fear of being separated from Taiseer and their beautiful children.
Click here to hear their story.

Love in Defiance of Law

Taiseer from Akka and Lana from Jenin worry the Citizenship Law will separate their family of four. Even a quick drive to grab coffee can lead to major issues for the couple.

A Complicated Trip Home

Laila from Gaza is married to Yassine, whose family are refugees living outside of historic Palestine. As a result, Yassine can’t travel with Laila and their two children when Laila heads home to Gaza.

In His Mother’s Memory

Samer from Jerusalem had his ID stripped away by Israel, and was prevented from seeing his mother when she was extremely ill.