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Donkeys are the young shepherds' preferred transportation in the desert. Every day they lead the animals out towards food and water. The sun is coming down relentlessly and the heat is extreme even early in the day.
The young men from the surrounding Bedouin camps met up in the common “television lounge” which is a shed without windows. With one lamp hanging from the ceiling and a TV they spend the night together. The electricity they get from a solar panel, which a NGO built for them. Tonight they are watching a Turkish soap series translated into Arabic.
From left: Khaled, Awda, Ferhan, Suad, Mosa and Salem.
Ready for milking
Hamida is the oldest Bedouin in and around Rashayida. The word is that she is 110 years old.
Taleb is laying on a couple of mattresses in a Bedouin camp in the desert. The Bedouins in this area have many children. A lot of men have two wives and upwards of twenty children.
Several of the men have gone out into the desert to check up on the animals. Afterwards they are resting, enjoying the wild nature, before returning back home.
From left: Salem, Mohammad, Saad, Salem, Yusef and Funkhor
A fire is lit for making tea. Drinking tea is an integrated part of being Bedouin.
A traditional Bedouin meal consists of pieces of meat of goat or lamb put on top of a base of rice and bread and then poured over with warm water. The food is eaten by forming meat, rice and bread into a little ball, which you then shove into your mouth with your thumb.
Mohammad is taking a nap.
The tank is the Bedouin's only way to get water when the rainwater cisterns are not filled.
The water they use for everything from cooking to feeding to the animals. The tanks are placed in the outskirts of the camps and then the water is filled into smaller containers and brought into the camp.
The water is being transported from the nearby desert village in a tractor. With the expenses of rental of a tractor, gas and the price of the water the total amount is circa 55 dollars and is a major part of the budget. In some periods it can be necessary to collect water as much as once a day.
Because of the lack of rain it is only the most robust plants that can grow. The Bedouins produce almost no crops because of the tough climate. The little crop they do have demands a lot of nurturing.
A goat drinks water from a tank.
Shepherd in the desert is resting while his livestock is making their way throught the desert.
The men do not work as much as the women. But they always handle the slaughtering of animals. The younger men are shepherds while the older men are the patriarchs of the family. They are in charge and are responsible for making sure that everything is being done according to plan.
Omar is trying to move the donkey. At the same time the donkey is drinking from a leak in a water pipe that connects the houses in Rashayida with water.
The view from Mohammad’s house in Rashayida. He has a wife in the desert village and a wife out in the desert a few kilometres away. It is a part of ancient Bedouin culture to have more than one wife.
Najat, one of Mohammad’s many daughters, is playing in front of the house.
Up the hill behind the fence is a large manmade pool where the Bedouins lead the animals to drink water. It is built by YMCA and Dan Church Aid(NGO’s). It is projects like this that help the Bedouins maintain their ancient way of life in the desert.
The pool is built on the site for an ancient christian church several centuries old.
Bedouin in the desert, riding on his donkey and taking care of his animals.
Ferhan drinks from a rain water cistern. Even though the water is only for live stock due to parasites.
Alia is helping the women clean out the enclosure for the goats. Everybody has to work, even the kids. The dust is everywhere while animal feces and dirt is put into large bags, bare handed.
Empty containers in the desert. To be filled with water from a rainwater cistern.
Ferhan is a shepherd. Almost every day he takes the sheep out for as much as ten hours. He is resting before he rides on with the animals into the desert. The Bedouins have goats, Sheep and camels. The animals are their livelihood.
Na’ma is making sure the sheep stays still while Sabha is milking it. The women in the Bedouin communities are in charge of almost all of the domestic duties. They prepare food, take care of the kids and milk the animals at the end of the day, when they get back from grazing in the desert.
The entrance to Borj el-Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp outside of Beirut, Lebanon.
The sign at the entrance to Borj el-Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp outside of Beirut, Lebanon.
Israelis watching sunset in the Jordan Valley.
The Mikveh is one of the only gay bars in Jerusalem, where Orthodox Jews, Arabs, Palestinians and the LGBT community find a refuge without ethnic distinction and gender prejudices. Here they are free to express themselves for what they are. The drag queens are the principal characters of the place. Every Monday night, for a few hours, they make the audience forget all that is outside of this small club. In these last years, in West Jerusalem, a few steps from Jaffa Street and the old town, they have become a real tradition. Audience members come to watch renowned queens such as "Diva D,". Some attendees haven't missed a show for years. During past administrations, when the club was called "Shushan," the establishment underwent several firing attacks and threats to the owners, but it is a new era of tolerance in Jerusalem.
An elderly Arab man with his hand on the top the Israeli West Bank Barrier wall at Abu Dis.