It is no question that in every war, casualties are inevitable and aside from the loss of life and property, certain freedoms that we enjoy can be taken from us at a blink of an eye. In a small camp in Israel occupied West Bank, Palestinian women are now fighting to keep an essential and important part of their culture that was taken from them as a result of the Israel-Palestine Conflict: Farming.
In 1967, after the 6-day war between arab nations and the state of Israel, the latter took control of an area bordering the river Jordan called the West-Bank. This military occupation of Palestinian territory resulted in the displacement of families, forcing them to leave their lands and their way of life.
The West Bank has a total land area of 2,173 sq. mi with mostly rugged terrain and little natural resources other than fertile land which make up 27% of the land area of the region. It is this fertile land that has sustained Palestinian communities in the past, using it as permanent pastures and farm lands for seasonal crops, essentially making farming integral to their culture and heritage.
In the Aida Refugee Camp, women have found creative ways to keep their farming alive as a means to sustain them in the absence of economic means, and more importantly, as subtle defiance against Israel and its occupation of their territories in the hopes of keeping their cultural identity alive.
In a video posted in the Facebook page AJPlusenglish, women are seen tending to rooftop gardens as they share their heartbreaking stories of grief and hardship while living in exile. But, amidst their struggle, the blooming gardens are testament that their hopes remain alive.