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WWII: Women of the Red Army 70 Years ...
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2015

This collection features portraits of women veterans of WWII who volunteered and were conscripted to serve in the Soviet Red Army. As Moscow filled up on May 9, 2015 to celebrate 70 years since Victory in what the Soviets called, and some Russians today call the Great Patriotic War, TTM contributor Jonathan Alpeyrie was able to meet and interview nine of these women, most of them grandmothers today, donning their military decorations for the festivities.

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Born in 1925, 90 year-old Nina has two children, five grand children, and 5 great grand children. Drafted into the Red Army in 1943 on the 4th Ukrainian front. At 16 years-old Nina was incorporated into a battalion following the army’s move Westward towards Prague, where she took part in the battle to retake the capital of Czechoslovakia in early 1945. During her time on the front she was in charge of various traffic regulation duties. 

“I took care of traffic regulations on the road leading to the front lines where vehicles and troops were passing," she recalls. She remembers also being afraid of the intense fighting going on around her at the time, especially in Western Ukraine where the fighting was very hard. "We fought for the unity of the Ukraine, and what is happening now is incomprehensible," she says sharply when asked about the current situation in Ukraine. "It is bad for everyone."

Born in 1924, 90 year-old Alexandra has two children and five grand children. Drafted into the Red Army in the town of Kalatch in the Voronezh region of central Russia, she was transferred to the front lines in December 1941, only 17 years old. 

“I was a nurse in a train hospital which moved along the front lines," she recalls. The hospital train would pick up the wounded and carry them back away from the fighting to field hospitals. “Some days, there were so many wounded soldiers that we were forced to travel on top of the train cars!” Alexandra remembers. In 1943, she fell ill and was sent to Tbilisi Georgia to recuperate. It is there that she met her future husband. “My most vivid memory was the day of our victory on May 9th 1945. We danced so much that day..."

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

 

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Women of the Red Army 05
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2015

Born in 1924, 90 year-old Alexandra has two children and five grand children. Drafted into the Red Army in the town of Kalatch in the Voronezh region of central Russia, she was transferred to the front lines in December 1941, only 17 years old.

“I was a nurse in a train hospital which moved along the front lines," she recalls. The hospital train would pick up the wounded and carry them back away from the fighting to field hospitals. “Some days, there were so many wounded soldiers that we were forced to travel on top of the train cars!” Alexandra remembers. In 1943, she fell ill and was sent to Tbilisi Georgia to recuperate. It is there that she met her future husband. “My most vivid memory was the day of our victory on May 9th 1945. We danced so much that day..."

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Women of the Red Army 06
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2015

Born in 1924, 90 year-old Alexandra has two children and five grand children. Drafted into the Red Army in the town of Kalatch in the Voronezh region of central Russia, she was transferred to the front lines in December 1941, only 17 years old.

“I was a nurse in a train hospital which moved along the front lines," she recalls. The hospital train would pick up the wounded and carry them back away from the fighting to field hospitals. “Some days, there were so many wounded soldiers that we were forced to travel on top of the train cars!” Alexandra remembers. In 1943, she fell ill and was sent to Tbilisi Georgia to recuperate. It is there that she met her future husband. “My most vivid memory was the day of our victory on May 9th 1945. We danced so much that day..."

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Women of the Red Army 07
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2015

Born in 1931, 85 year-old Zinaida has one child, and one grand child. She was drafted in to the Red Army as part of a Ukrainian partisan outfit near the town of Hmelnick in Western Ukraine.

“I was 12 years-old when German soldiers took over our house. We fled to the forest with my brother Maxime. There, we managed to join a Communist partisan group," she recalls. “I would cook for the soldiers as well as provide important information for them by spying on German troops' movement. I remained with the same partisan unit for the entire war." By the end of the war, the group was hiding in the Carpathian Mountains. Her greatest memory of the war is the ‘Katioucha' song Red Army soldier sang when they liberated her native village, she tells us.

Zinaida left Ukraine in 2008 in order to join her only daughter in Russia to live together. When asked about the current conflict in Ukraine, she says, “I miss Ukraine a lot. We left some family there, and we are afraid of this new conflict."

"We will not return until the war ends," she says sadly.

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Women of the Red Army 08
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2015

Born in 1931, 85 year-old Zinaida has one child, and one grand child. She was drafted in to the Red Army as part of a Ukrainian partisan outfit near the town of Hmelnick in Western Ukraine.

“I was 12 years-old when German soldiers took over our house. We fled to the forest with my brother Maxime. There, we managed to join a Communist partisan group," she recalls. “I would cook for the soldiers as well as provide important information for them by spying on German troops' movement. I remained with the same partisan unit for the entire war." By the end of the war, the group was hiding in the Carpathian Mountains. Her greatest memory of the war is the ‘Katioucha' song Red Army soldier sang when they liberated her native village, she tells us.

Zinaida left Ukraine in 2008 in order to join her only daughter in Russia to live together. When asked about the current conflict in Ukraine, she says, “I miss Ukraine a lot. We left some family there, and we are afraid of this new conflict."

"We will not return until the war ends," she says sadly.

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Women of the Red Army 09
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2015

Born in 1930, 84 year-old Nakia has five children, and one grand child. During the war, she was forced to work in a factory, which produced spare parts for the war effort in Tirsa, Tartastan. Working in a factory as an 11 year-old for the war effort was a sacrifice for many reasons. Each day she had to walk 30 kilometers to “go to the factory from my village, and walk each night back the same way," she recalls. Some nights she had to work nights as the heavy losses incurred on the front lines required constant work. Her most difficult memory of the war was the lack of food.

“We had nothing to eat," she remembers. "We had to scrape the earth in a near by field in order to find roots and vegetables. I was scared, scared all the time," she admits. But when victory day arrived on May 9th, she felt this was the best gift one could have given her.

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Women of the Red Army 10
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2015

Born in 1930, 84 year-old Nakia has five children, and one grand child. During the war, she was forced to work in a factory, which produced spare parts for the war effort in Tirsa, Tartastan. Working in a factory as an 11 year-old for the war effort was a sacrifice for many reasons. Each day she had to walk 30 kilometers to “go to the factory from my village, and walk each night back the same way," she recalls. Some nights she had to work nights as the heavy losses incurred on the front lines required constant work. Her most difficult memory of the war was the lack of food.

“We had nothing to eat," she remembers. "We had to scrape the earth in a near by field in order to find roots and vegetables. I was scared, scared all the time," she admits. But when victory day arrived on May 9th, she felt this was the best gift one could have given her.

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Women of the Red Army 11
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2015

Born in 1927, 88 year-old Ivannikova has five children, 12 grand children, and 8 great grand children. During the war she was a military train conductor in Saratov in South East Russia.

“I was in a technical high school to learn how to drive trains when the war began," she remembers. She started to drive military trains in 1943. “Most of the time we would transport ammunitions to the front lines. But sometimes, we did not know what the cargo contained, as it was secret."

Though German planes never attacked her train, she remembers being scared all the time. “I used to have nightmares each night,” she recalls. She also remembers the day of victory. She cried a lot remembering the death of so many people, but said, “it was a great day for me, because we won, and the war was finally over.”

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Women of the Red Army 13
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2015

Born in 1925, 90 year-old Nina has two children, five grand children, and 5 great grand children. Drafted into the Red Army in 1943 on the 4th Ukrainian front. At 16 years-old Nina was incorporated into a battalion following the army’s move Westward towards Prague, where she took part in the battle to retake the capital of Czechoslovakia in early 1945. During her time on the front she was in charge of various traffic regulation duties.

“I took care of traffic regulations on the road leading to the front lines where vehicles and troops were passing," she recalls. She remembers also being afraid of the intense fighting going on around her at the time, especially in Western Ukraine where the fighting was very hard. "We fought for the unity of the Ukraine, and what is happening now is incomprehensible," she says sharply when asked about the current situation in Ukraine. "It is bad for everyone."

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Women of the Red Army 14
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2015

Born in 1925, 90 year-old Nina has two children, five grand children, and 5 great grand children. Drafted into the Red Army in 1943 on the 4th Ukrainian front. At 16 years-old Nina was incorporated into a battalion following the army’s move Westward towards Prague, where she took part in the battle to retake the capital of Czechoslovakia in early 1945. During her time on the front she was in charge of various traffic regulation duties.

“I took care of traffic regulations on the road leading to the front lines where vehicles and troops were passing," she recalls. She remembers also being afraid of the intense fighting going on around her at the time, especially in Western Ukraine where the fighting was very hard. "We fought for the unity of the Ukraine, and what is happening now is incomprehensible," she says sharply when asked about the current situation in Ukraine. "It is bad for everyone."

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Women of the Red Army 15
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2015

Born in 1920, 94 year-old Nagaieva has one child, two grand children, and three great grand children. Nagaieva was drafted into the Red Army and sent to the front lines near Kursk where the Soviets were battling the German army in 1943. She contributed to the war effort as a dentist, following the Soviet army’s advance through Ukraine, Eastern Europe and finally into Germany where she took part of the fall of the Reichstadt in late April 1945.

When asked how she felt about the final victory on May 9th 1945, she smiles and says, “This May 9th, I had the impression of being 19 years-old again."

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Women of the Red Army 16
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2015

Born in 1920, 94 year-old Nagaieva has one child, two grand children, and three great grand children. Nagaieva was drafted into the Red Army and sent to the front lines near Kursk where the Soviets were battling the German army in 1943. She contributed to the war effort as a dentist, following the Soviet army’s advance through Ukraine, Eastern Europe and finally into Germany where she took part of the fall of the Reichstadt in late April 1945.

When asked how she felt about the final victory on May 9th 1945, she smiles and says, “This May 9th, I had the impression of being 19 years-old again."

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Women of the Red Army 17
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2015

Born in 1924, 90 year-old Maria was a volunteer nurse, treating Red Army soldiers on the front lines.

“When I learned about the German invasion of my country in 1941, I volunteered as a nurse in the 847th infantry regiment. Soon after joining the regiment, the entire unit was ordered to the front lines at Lipetsk in central Russia," she explains.

During the trip the regiment was attacked many times by German airplanes. Though out 1942 and 1943, she fought with the regiment into Ukraine and took part in the liberation of Kharkov, Kiev and Lviv. She continued her progress with the regiment into Germany in 1945 before being ordered towards Czechoslovakia to take part in the battle of Prague in early 1945.

“I have saved many lives as a nurse, but I was myself wounded twice," explains the veteran. “What is the hardest for me, is all the people I could not save. But I am very proud of my service to my country, defending it.”

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Women of the Red Army 18
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
09 May 2015

Born in 1924, 90 year-old Maria was a volunteer nurse, treating Red Army soldiers on the front lines.

“When I learned about the German invasion of my country in 1941, I volunteered as a nurse in the 847th infantry regiment. Soon after joining the regiment, the entire unit was ordered to the front lines at Lipetsk in central Russia," she explains.

During the trip the regiment was attacked many times by German airplanes. Though out 1942 and 1943, she fought with the regiment into Ukraine and took part in the liberation of Kharkov, Kiev and Lviv. She continued her progress with the regiment into Germany in 1945 before being ordered towards Czechoslovakia to take part in the battle of Prague in early 1945.

“I have saved many lives as a nurse, but I was myself wounded twice," explains the veteran. “What is the hardest for me, is all the people I could not save. But I am very proud of my service to my country, defending it.”

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Women of the Red Army 12
Moscow
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
08 May 2015

Born in 1927, 88 year-old Ivannikova has five children, 12 grand children, and 8 great grand children. During the war she was a military train conductor in Saratov in South East Russia.

“I was in a technical high school to learn how to drive trains when the war began," she remembers. She started to drive military trains in 1943. “Most of the time we would transport ammunitions to the front lines. But sometimes, we did not know what the cargo contained, as it was secret."

Though German planes never attacked her train, she remembers being scared all the time. “I used to have nightmares each night,” she recalls. She also remembers the day of victory. She cried a lot remembering the death of so many people, but said, “it was a great day for me, because we won, and the war was finally over.”

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Armenian-Egyptians Commemorate 'Genoc...
Cairo
By Mohamed AbouElenen
23 Apr 2015

Cairo, Egypt
April 23, 2015

Egyptians of Armenian descent commemorated the centenary anniversary of the massacres committed against their ancestors by the Ottoman Empire in the First World War. Dozens of spectators examined photographs, artifacts and books that tell the story of the mass killings in 1915 as well as the Armenian diaspora around the world. The exhibition was organized by The Armenian Club in Cairo.

The Armenian community in Egypt, which was formed mainly of people who fled the killings by Ottoman Turks, dwindled in the 1950s, as many non-Arabs left the country under the weight of nationalization policies conducted by President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Around 8,000 Armenians live in Egypt today according to an interviewed activist.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various of young women in traditional Armenian garbs
Various of spectators examining artefacts that belonged to Armenian refugees
Various of event attendees eating traditional Armenian snacks

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Garen Garbouyan, A young Armenian-Egyptian taking part in commemoration
00:30 – 01:14
“This event is being held because April 24 is nearing. This year is the 100th anniversary of the genocide. On this occasion, we are holding several consecutive events. In this celebration, we are introducing people to the old four Arminian provinces. We are showing how people used to dress in each province, as well as what people there used to eat and the activities they did. I am here today because my ancestors fled the massacre and came by boats to Port Said.”

Various of embroidered artefacts
Tilt down of icon with inscription in Armenian

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Marlo Zamanian, Armenian-Egyptian attending the exhibition

01:35 – 01:52
“My mother’s grandfather was forced to flee in 1915. He fled the massacres; his parents were able to flee the massacres and eventually reached Egypt.”

Various/ Close-up of artefacts
Wide of spectator examining a poster
Close-up/ Zoom out of necklace
Various of map featuring the massacres against Armenians
Various of exhibited items

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Marlo Zamanian, Armenian-Egyptian attending the exhibition
02:41 – 03:16
“My mother says that her father used to say… [LAUGH] that on a day in April – on April 24, 1915 – that the Turks knocked on their door. They come from a province called Kharpet. The Turks knocked on their door and took my mother’s grandfather who never returned. They took him to an unknown location. This was their end. My mother’s grandmother was able to rescue her children. She had a boy and two girls. She was able to leave and take them with her.”

Various of photographs depicting people who were killed in the massacres
Various of exhibition items and photographs

Close-up of a comb. NAT Sound (Arabic) 03:56 – 04:04
“This is from 1909. Look at the design.”

Wide of two girls wearing traditional costumes and holding a metal artefact

Close-up of metal artefact. NAT Sound (Arabic) 04:09 – 04:14
"This is the goblet I was talking about. It was used to fill water.” Close-up pf traditional puppet

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Marlo Zamanian, Armenian-Egyptian attending the exhibition
04:21 – 04:42
“We thank Egypt as well as the entire Arab homeland. This was the closest area to us, the [Armenian] migrants. From the desert of Deir al-Zor, we entered Syria and Lebanon. Other people fled to Greece. I feel that Arab countries were more welcoming towards than Europe.”

Various of event attendees having traditional snacks
Various of books about the Armenian genocide

Cutaways of Armen Mazloumian, An Egyptian-Armenian activist working on commemorating the Armenian genocide

SOUNDBITE Armen Mazloumian, An Egyptian-Armenian activist working on commemorating the Armenian genocide
05:29 – 06:23
“My grandfather’s family was a leading a decent life in Turkey. They were among the prominent merchants who traded in figs and pureblood horses in Turkey. His father and brothers were all killed in the massacres. He was young and another family smuggled him to Greece. In Greece, he worked for several years at the harbour with Onassis. As you know, Onassis became one of the world’s billionaires. Afterwards, my grandfather came to Egypt where lived and worked. He owned Nassibian film studio.”

Cutaways of Armen Mazloumian, An Egyptian-Armenian activist working on commemorating the Armenian genocide

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Armen Mazloumian, An Egyptian-Armenian activist working on commemorating the Armenian genocide
06:24 – 06:48
“Currently, about 8,000 Armenians live in Egypt. Their number was more than 50,000 during the 1940s and 1950s, but most of them immigrated to Armenia -- they returned to Armenia – as well as Europe, America and Australia.”

Cutaways of Viken Gezmiziyan, The head of the Armenian Charitable Society in Cairo

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Viken Gezmiziyan, The head of the Armenian Charitable Society in Cairo
06:56 – 07:10
“The method to slaughter [Armenians] is the same as the one that is being deployed by ISIS. They were lined up and killed with knives. The target was extermination; to make that area devoid of Armenians.”

Cutaways of Viken Gezmiziyan, The head of the Armenian Charitable Society in Cairo

Wide of man contemplating ‘Genocide Map’

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Viken Gezmiziyan, The head of the Armenian Charitable Society in Cairo
07:25 – 07:50
“There are about 3 million people living in present-day Armenia, while 9 million [Armenians] live outside. These 9 million did not appear out of nowhere. Our ancestors fled Armenia, and therefore Armenians were displaced in the entire world. Yet, some say that the massacres did not take place. Each one of us Armenians has a story to tell and knows how his grandfather fled the massacres. We see this as a problem.”

Cutaways of Mohamad Rifaat al-Imam, Head of History Department at the University of Damanhour

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Mohamad Rifaat al-Imam, Head of History Department at the University of Damanhour
08:06 – 08:47

“The Armenian issue surfaced in 1878, as a result of Article 61 of the treaty of Berlin, which stipulated the implementation of reforms in ‘Armenistan’, or Ottoman Armenia in eastern Anatolia. Ottoman authorities refused to carry out these reforms. Armenians then had to resort to revolutionary action to pressure Europe and the Ottoman Empire to implement Article 61.”

Cutaways of Mohamad Rifaat al-Imam, Head of History Department at the University of Damanhour

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Mohamad Rifaat al-Imam, Head of History Department at the University of Damanhour
09:11 – 09:43
“If Turkey to recognizes the massacres, it would have to return eastern Anatolia as well as all the funds, the assets and real estates that were confiscated from Armenians. Turkey would have to spend huge amounts of money as indemnities to the Armenian people who succumbed to a genocide, which the entire world is heading to recognize.”

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Armenian 'Genocide' Survivors 100 Yea...
Yerevan
By Lorenzo Perrelli
14 Apr 2015

Armenia

April 24, 2015 marks the 100 year anniversary of the Armenian genocide. This collection of footage interviews some of the few remaining survivors of the genocide from their homes in Armenia. The interviews come at a time when Armenia and Armenians around the world are preparing to commemorate the centennial of the genocide. The commemoration is being help with the hope of keeping the fragile memory of the genocide alive and gaining recognition of the tragedy from Turkey and the international community.

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Land Day R
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
30 Mar 2015

As the Land Day action is brought to an abrupt halt in Wadi Fukin, the majority of the 350 olive tree saplings remain unplanted outside a house in the village after activists were forced to escape from clouds of tear gas that was fired by Israeli soldiers.
Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
30 Mar 2015

A Palestinian child watches from a rooftop in Wadi Fukin as Israeli soldiers fire rounds of tear gas at fleeing activists during a tree planting event to mark Land Day. In the background stands the huge Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit which is built partly on the land of Wadi Fukin.
Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day 19
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
30 Mar 2015

Two elderly Palestinian women attempt to make their way down the hill in Wadi Fukin to escape from the tear gas that is being fired by Israeli forces.

Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day 20
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
30 Mar 2015

An Israeli security helicopter circles above Wadi Fukin during the olive tree planting event to commemorate Palestinian Land Day on March 30th 2015.

Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day 21
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
30 Mar 2015

Israeli soldiers line up on a hill top in Wadi Fukin as Palestinian activists watch from a distance during an olive tree planting event to commemorate Land Day in the Palestinian village of Wadi Fukin.

Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day 4
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
29 Mar 2015

350 olive trees were brought to Wadi Fukin to be planted on the lands threatened by settlement expansion.

Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine, March 30 2105.

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Land Day 5
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
29 Mar 2015

Activists make their way up a hill toward land that is threatened by the expansion of the Sur Haddasah settlement. In the background, the huge Beitar Illit settlement is also built on the land of Wadi Fukin.

Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine, March 30 2015.

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Land Day 6
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
29 Mar 2015

In the West Bank village of Wadi Fukin, an olive tree planting event is underway with local activists and refugees from Bethlehem's refugee camps to commemorate Land Day on March 30th 2015.

Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day 18
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
29 Mar 2015

Activists flee as Israeli forces rain tear gas down on them. The tear gas stopped the olive tree planting event being held to commemorate Land Day in the Palestinian village of Wadi Fukin.
Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day 1
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
29 Mar 2015

A Palestinian youth raises a Palestinian flag from the top of settlement construction machinery within the construction site that is expanding the Israeli settlement of Sur Hadassah. Sur Hadassah is located on the land of the West Bank Palestinian village of Wadi Fukin and the land of the pre-Nakba Palestinian village of Ras Abu Ammar.

Wadi Fukin/Ras Abu Ammar, West Bank/Green Line, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day 2
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
29 Mar 2015

A small group of activists reach the construction site on the top of the hill in which Sur Hadassah settlement is being further expanded.

Wadi Fukin/Ras Abu Ammar, West Bank/Green Line, Palestinel. March 30 2015.

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Land Day 3
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
29 Mar 2015

An elderly Palestinian women plants an olive tree sapling on land of the village of Wadi Fukin, which is threatened with confiscation by the expansion of the Sur Hadassah Jewish settlement.

Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
27 Mar 2015

Yakoub Odeh is one of Lifta's Nakba survivors and also the head of 'Sons of Lifta' - a community group that was established by the refugees in defense of their village and their right to return to live in the village: "We are here to remember, we are here to learn and we are here to say we will never give up (our struggle for return)." Yakoub Odeh and Palestinian refugees from Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 7
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

The refugees ended their Land Day action with Friday prayers at the edge of Lifta's spring under the watchful eyes of Israeli security forces and Jewish orthodox youth from the nearby settlements.

Palestinian refugees from Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 8
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

A Jewish youth from a nearby settlement talks to Palestinians commemorating land day in the village of Lifta.

Although the village centre of Lifta and its houses remain unoccupied, large areas of the village's wider lands were expropriated for settlement expansion. Orthodox youth from these settlements regularly visit Lifta to bath in its spring

Palestinian refugees and Jewish orthodox youth, Lifta, West Jerusalem, March 27 2015.

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Land Day 9
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

Lifta's mosque is also still standing today and offers sweeping views across the western slopes of the village from its arched windows.

Palestinian refugees from Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel, March 27 2015.

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Land Day 10
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

Cleaning and restoration work in the village cemetery has become a focal point for many events held by the community-in-exile when they visit Lifta. The refugees' ancestors remain buried at the site to this day. There are now estimated to be more than 7 million Palestinian refugees and displaced people.

Palestinian refugees from Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 11
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

Nader Liftawi was born a refugee in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem in 1970 and was brought to the village regularly by his father from an early age.

"I have brought my children here since they were young. I come at least once every month to check the houses, clean the graves and smell the air. This is everything to us," explained Nader.

Nader Liftawi, Palestinian refugee form Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 13
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

Lifta was forcibly depopulated in early 1948 by Zionist militias, well before the official establishment of the State of Israel. Some Nakba survivors say that they were told to leave temporarily and would later be allowed to return.

Palestinian refugees from Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 14
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

Yakoub Odeh is one of Lifta's Nakba survivors and also the head of 'Sons of Lifta' - a community group that was established by the refugees in defense of their village and their right to return to live in the village: "We are here to remember, we are here to learn and we are here to say we will never give up (our struggle for return)."

Yakoub Odeh and Palestinian refugees from Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 15
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

Lifta is unique amongst the Palestinian villages that were depopulated during the Nakba in that the majority of its houses remain structurally intact and are not occupied by Israelis today.

Palestinian refugees from Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 22
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

The refugees hung signs in various locations around Lifta reaffirming the history and Palestinian identity of the village.
Palestinian refugees from Lifta, Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 16
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

After a journet of only 10 minutes the refugees arrived back in the village from which they were forcibly displaced in early 1948 by Zionist militias.
Palestinian refugees from Lifta, Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.