Tapestry of Humanity

Every week on this page, ANERA will add a new image and story to our #TapestryofHumanity.

Often we hear refugees and other vulnerable communities discussed in terms of numbers or their level of victim-hood. Our tapestry will feature humanity through the stories of diverse individuals from Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon.

"I am a doctor because it was my ultimate dream. Of course, the beginning wasn't easy, especially since I studied and specialized abroad in countries that spoke completely foreign languages to me. My parents always encouraged us to get an education and develop ourselves. Among me and my 11 siblings, there is an attorney, a journalist, an engineer and several school teachers. I am the eldest, and usually, when the oldest goes for higher education, the rest follow the lead."

Ismail, doctor
(Idhna, West Bank)

Each photo and story will be featured for a week on this page, after which they will be ‘woven’ into ANERA's Tapestry of Humanity below where they will be archived.

"In the past, fishermen lived a good life. I had two boats. I would always catch fish and I was always happy. I miss it sometimes. All types of fish used to be found in Gaza. Working the sea is something we inherited from our forefathers. It runs in our blood. Now I have this one fishing net to remind me of the tradition my parents passed on to me. Hopefully the old days will return and we can fish and feed the people again." - Mamdouh, fisherman (Gaza)
Ayyoosh: "I'm 71 and my husband is 77…We're from different villages and we first saw each other on our wedding day. That was the tradition back in the day. I was 14 and a half. But I knew how to cook and prepare traditional flatbread…I still like to pamper him…We have four girls and seven boys, but we live alone now." Daoud: "And we have 85 grandchildren! How can we not love each other after spending a lifetime together?" - Ayyoush and Daoud, shopkeepers (Bani Na’im, Hebron)
"It’s been 27 years since my father died. Toward the end of his life he encouraged me to learn and preserve the heritage of our Jerusalemite town of Lifta, which is famous for its beautiful embroidery patterns. When he died I had just finished high school and had no interest in handicrafts, but his words never left my mind and they propelled me to learn embroidery and become the trainer that I am today... Women are here [in my embroidery workshop] so they can support themselves or their siblings or parents or children. Others want to develop their own businesses. And others are searching for a passion and want to express themselves creatively." - Sabah, embroidery teacher (Ramallah, West Bank)
"I’m 5 years old and in first grade. Today, I came with my teachers and friends to visit a strawberry greenhouse. I have a sister and a younger brother...I am a girl scout and I love to discover. I’m not afraid of animals. My mom lets me pet them. One time I saw a stray turtle and I asked if I could adopt it. Mom said “yes!” People say I’m a brave girl. This is what makes me a girl scout.” – Joudy, girl scout (Beit Lahia, Gaza)