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Strength by pename Strength by pename
Kalim, local councillor, shows me the positions in which he and other inmates of the prison were forced to stand for days on end.

This building was built by the British during the Mandate control of Palestine, and was later used by the Israeli military as a prison. In the late 90's, the Israeli military pulled out, and most of the buildings have since been renovated. The building is now a community centre for local groups, arts and theatre.

Some of the cells and torture chambers, such as this one, lie hidden behind locked doors. They have been left to fall into disrepair, but significantly not demolished. Graffiti on the wall mimics the 'agony position', a sort of half-crouch, which the prisoners - almost all of them incarcerated for political reasons - were forced to endure. Kalim spent seven years, from the mid eighties to the early nineties, mostly in this jail.

___


Twenty-four hours before, I was eating ice-cream in a water park. The smell of water is intoxicating in the Jordan valley - so many rivers have run dry because of climate change and Israeli water diversion, that to catch the moist scent of humid air always brings out smiles and gasps of pleasure. The owners of the park, five brothers, had given us the warm greetings we had become accustomed to in Palestine, and within minutes we were stuffing ourselves with shockingly sweet bubble-gum ice cream.

On the table we spread out a souvenir from Jerusalem: a map of Palestine and Israel, showing the Israeli 'security wall' that surrounds and divides much of the West Bank. Pink splotches represented Israeli settlements, and checkered pink showed the settlements of Gaza that were abandoned in 2006. Dotted, intangible lines marked the theoretical boundaries between Israel and Palestine, which now lie well neglected.

Somewhat dizzy from ice-cream, I sat admiring place-names. One of our group, with a air of sadness and of hope, indicated with a sweeping hand from East to West, from occupied Palestine to the coast of the Meditteranian, 'One day. All this.' His suggestion was that Palestinians might regain the land that was given away by the British to form the state of Israel. Kalim shook his head. 'Not even that', he said, 'Let them keep their land.' We fell silent. He was calm and spoke as though from a great depth. He said: 'Just for us to be left alone.'

___


I thought I knew what strength was before I came to Palestine. Really. I thought that if you could take a blow and not flinch, you were strong; that if you could risk your life in order to save what you loved the most, you were strong. That strength is about fighting for what you believe in.

I have met strong people, and by example they have shown me I was wrong. They do not fight; they do not take up the knife or gun, they do not preach violence or hatred. They have endured immeasurable suffering.

They are strong because in spite of their experience, in spite of every low feeling telling them to tear apart their oppressors, they have kept their humanity. They are still kind. They are, I can say for sure, the most peaceful people I have ever met. I see now that any old fool can pick up a gun and fight. It takes real strength to preserve your humanity.



J.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2009-02-17
This photo by *pename tells a story about a story being told... and all of these stories are told yet again, in classrooms during the day, and by the fire at night. We could call it a meta-story, and this a meta-picture. Instead, it's called Strength, by *pename. ( Featured by Helewidis )
:iconladdams:
LAddams Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012  Student General Artist
The lines in this are great, I like the parallel between the man and the graffiti
Reply
:iconlnasaql:
lNasaQl Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
this place .. in Fara camp beside Nablus City
where i live
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:iconuptheproletariat:
Uptheproletariat Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2011
Wow, this is excellent. The image and the way you've written - feels like i'm there.
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:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank-you, glad it touched you. -J
Reply
:iconyuihisaishi:
YuiHisaishi Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I saved this to favorites because of your discription =)

Thanks for posting what you posted, it was good information (I really liked the last paragraph).
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:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
i'm glad it touched you in some way. x
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:icondshamilja:
Dshamilja Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2011
Thank you for telling these courageous people's story.
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:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for your kind comment. It is the least I can do.
Reply
:iconxorac:
xorac Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
amazing photograph. these should be highlighted again in light of what is happening.
Reply
:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
thankyou very much. and, i agree.
Reply
:iconalhaqiqa:
alhaqiqa Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2009
Your words are so true. When we realize that in the minds of their oppressors that all goyim are potential Palestinians, we look at these gentle strong people and realize it can be done.

But what is their alternative? Run straight into the bayonets pointed at their hearts? What we are seeing here is true strength, endurance, faith, spirituality and elegance of a people to be emulated. In truth, they have already defeated their oppressors. And that is why those small hearted cruel and miserly people are so cruel. They see themselves for what they are and seem to think their behaviour and belief in being "god's chosen" will atone for their complete lack of human decency.
Reply
:iconboullie:
BOULLIE Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2009
But never forget that things including morals are constantly changing. Strength consists of many definitions and events.
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:iconcroovman:
croovman Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Student General Artist
may violence always fail
Reply
:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
may it always. peace & good wishes to you x
Reply
:iconsiberiankissed:
siberiankissed Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2009
Touching story...and I'm an Israeli.
Too bad only side of the story is being told.
That creates confusion. Anyway the photo is really powerful and deep.
Reply
:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Thankyou for your thoughts. I'm glad you found this touching. I don't think being an Israeli means one should be any less likely to find the issue touching.

I agree that this article doesn't try to tell 'both sides' of the story. I think that in this case it would be inappropriate to try and justify the way in which this kind, peaceful man was treated.

Thanks again. x
Reply
:iconsiberiankissed:
siberiankissed Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009
I fully agree that nothing would justify the way he was treated. I'm going to the Israeli armed forces in a month from now and I know I'm not gonna harm any innocent soul.
It's the comments that made me very upset.
Peace.
Reply
:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
I wish every soldier in every army could make such a promise.
Peace.
Reply
:icongeorgia-muffin:
georgia-muffin Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2009
wow. just wow. it really strikes home
Reply
:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
thankyou. x
Reply
:iconartislight:
artislight Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2009
Wow, thank you so much for sharing this... the text was worth far more than just the photograph... thank you so much. God bless -b
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:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
and you. thanks for your time. x
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:iconartislight:
artislight Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009
:) You bet!
Reply
:iconanna-mcnarin:
Anna-McNarin Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2009
Your words struck me, thank you for sharing them.
Reply
:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Thankyou for your thoughts.
Reply
:iconandylabina:
andylabina Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2009
man....and the shadow!!
nice pics....
i like the concept.

and_
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:iconkaisaj90:
kaisaj90 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2009   Writer
Beautiful
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:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Thankyou.
Reply
:iconasher27:
asher27 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2009
you are an excellent photographer as well as writer.

if only the world understood the palestinian side of the story...
Reply
:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
I feel the same way.

Thanks, and all the best. Jx
Reply
:iconkaidaharuko:
KaidaHaruko Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, this is... amazing. Not only the photo, but the story you've told in words along with it.
Congratulations. :]
Reply
:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Thankyou! :)
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:iconbloodshotproductions:
awesome!
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:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
thanks! :)
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:iconbloodshotproductions:
you're welcome.
Reply
:iconpersabsynthfaerie:
PersAbsynthFaerie Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
"It is not in victory that we learn how strong we truly are."

It is my favourite quote, because it is th ehumblest and most accurate of all. Something that rings true in not only your photo, but your amazing story that accompanies it. Thank you so very much for this deviation! It is very enlightening :heart:
Reply
:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
And thank you for the wonderful phrase - I will remember it. Best wishes xx
Reply
:iconsaitronprince:
Saitronprince Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2009   Writer
This is an amazing picture... It just conveys a lot, without the description.
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:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
I am glad to hear this - thanks to you x
Reply
:icondensity-tmr:
density-tmr Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2009
Excellent - can't think of anymore words that that - sorry!!
Reply
:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
thanks for your support, all the same! :)
Reply
:iconhirazubairi:
hiraZubairi Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2009
i hope we all possess this sort of strength..

very inspiring. :)
Reply
:iconseriouslytwisted:
seriouslytwisted Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009
Haha, funny bumping into you here Hira.
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:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
i hope so too.

thank you for your support :)
Reply
:iconlucidflux:
lucidflux Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2009  Professional General Artist
Amazing photo--and your story is very powerful indeed. I wish more people could see things the way they do and you do...it's very touching. Thanks very much for sharing your work and your words. :aww: Congrats a hundred times over for the well-deserved DD! :clap:
Reply
:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
thankyou so much! your support goes much appreciated. best wishes x
Reply
:iconlucidflux:
lucidflux Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Professional General Artist
^-^ No problem! Same to you. :heart:
Reply
:iconb-nihilist:
B-Nihilist Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2009
very powerful ideas are at play here...wonderful piece.
Reply
:iconpename:
pename Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
thankyou.x
Reply
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April 28, 2008
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