Ahmad is a photographer, photojournalist, documentarist, and activist from the West Bank. He works with the organization ActiveStills, which joins Israeli and Palestinian photographers to document the Israel-Palestine conflict. Ahmad believes that his mission is to fix what he views as a decades-long colonial project against the Palestinian people. He hopes his skills as a filmmaker and journalist, and his effort to document and publicize the Palestinian struggle, will raise international awareness of the conflict. Ultimately, he hopes for a single peaceful Israeli-Palestinian state.
We used to go to supermarkets, and buy gum, and in each packet, it was called the Intifada gum. Seriously, I still have the things. When you open it, you find a photograph, of something related to the situation, like a child throwing a stone. So that was simply my childhood.
In my memory right now, I still remember like the sounds of airstrikes, how my house was shaking whenever we had a tank passing by and I started being that political child, you know?
I just ask for rights and if I have it, I can be more productive and do more things. Yeah, we lost that chance of having a cultural, vibrant city, which, we lost the train that we used to have from the Ottomans. And these things that should be part of the future development, we used to have them 100 years ago, but not now.
We develop a visual way of thinking of things, because of watching TVs, watching documentaries. So I got that skill, which is thinking visually. So I remember myself in the first year of the university going to actions, but not to participate as, for example, a protestor, but taking camera with me so, but my daily practice, I call it like journalism. Between-wise, I have some interesting ideas, that I hunt here and there and I want to develop…this is closer to the documentary practice, I believe.
Activestills is a group of documentary photographers that share the same political perspectives on the region of Palestine/Israel. I feel very happy that we managed to secure our archives since that time, which is almost 14-15 years because if you want to check who’s archiving photographs of this era, in this country, you will find out that we only have these international photojournalism agencies.
It’s sad and it’s a bad feeling when you look at Australia, New Zealand, United States, I think that these are the closest similar examples to my case, nobody even thinks about them, like indigenous people of these place. Settler colonial projects lived forever. I’m afraid that in my country, it’s gonna live forever.
So, all similar examples have failed, so by looking at that, I feel that this is a bit scary. Life will keep going on like this, and you will have more and more problems, but we should not say, ah this is natural so let it up happen, because I’m affected, and we also should contribute, but humans will keep fighting, the country is big enough for everybody, we can live if we have the will.