Next to the western entrance of Jerusalem you can see the ruins of Lifta. This village has been a home to people from different backgrounds, Palestinians and Jews). Maybe that is why it became a symbol for the conflict in the region. Listening to the stories of the people of Lifta makes you understand what impact political decisions have on people’s lives and how important it is to listen to their memories and visions on the future.
While reading the interviews of Palestinians and Jews it is important to keep in mind that the existing power relations are visible in some of the stories and hidden in others. In the stories of the Palestinian refugees one can read them almost in every sentence (We can´t go back there…). The narrative of the people in power, those that want to start building in Lifta, is not present. They didn´t respond to my request for their story.
I am Laura van Rij from The Netherlands, doing an internship at Zochrot as part of my master degree in Public History at the University of Amsterdam. From April until July I travelled from Tel Aviv to Ramallah and from Amman to Jerusalem to document the stories of the people of Lifta.
I would like to thank Eitan Bronstein Aparicio from Zochrot for the supervision and translation of most of the interviews from English to Hebrew. I would also like to thank Yonat Nitzan-Green for her translations voluntarily to Hebrew.
These are the people who shared their story and I thank them for that (beginning on July 28, 2013 we'll publish here one story a day):
Amina, former resident of Lifta. Read
Shmuel Groag, architect and conservation and heritage consultant. Read
Salwa Naser, daughter of former residents of Lifta. Read
Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon, documentary filmmaker. Read
Yakoub Odeh, former resident of Lifta. Read
Tzipi Kirma, former resident of Lifta. Read
David Kirma, former resident of Lifta. Read
Raida Adon, artist. Read
Aida Najjar, former resident of Lifta. Read
Yoni Yochanan, resident of Lifta. Read
Sari Nasir, former resident of Lifta. Read
Itzik Shweky Regional manager, Society for preservation of Israel heritage sites. Read
Mohammed Abu Leil, former resident of Lifta. Read
Husam Bajis, the Lifta Society Chicago. Read
Danielle Schwartz, filmmaker. Read
Gadi Iron, architect. Read
Ahmad Kharouf, projectleader at Bezalel documentation program. Read
Ilan Shtayer, coordinator of the Coalition to save Lifta. Read
Fida Touma, Riwaq, Ramallah. Read
Osama Rabie, son of former residents of Lifta and chairman of the Lifta Arab Organisation in Amman, Jordan. Read
Ahmad, son of former residents of Lifta. Read
A day in Lifta. Read