Added by on 2017-07-01

The story of a family, living at the heart of a conflict.

Mohammed and Samer are the two youngest sons in a Palestinian family of six. They live in Nabi Saleh, a small hilltop village where stunning views mask a much darker reputation: this is one of the most dangerous places to be on a Friday in the West Bank.

Family life can see tear gas interspersed with afternoon tea or rubber bullets collected as trinkets. Manal Tamimi, their mother, remembers a very different childhood to what the boys now consider normality. The settlement of Halamish that stands on the opposite side of the valley is the source of her worries. As a child Manal played in the olive groves that have been replaced by the homes of over a thousand Israeli settlers. Her memories, coupled with the difficult conditions her family have been forced to call routine, have fueled Manal’s commitment to protesting the occupation every Friday.

The family are united in this act of defiance. Children experience the same dangers as adults in a life threatening game of cat and mouse with Israeli soldiers. The protests have become a regular event, part of the children’s identity, part of the week’s activities and with it their innocence is slowly eroding.

This is not the whole story. Although they might be neighbours, the lives of the settlers are a universe away from Nabi Saleh. By talking to those inside Halamish a more complex reality is revealed. The problems faced by Manal, Samer and Mohammed are too easily forgotten in the comforts of contemporary Israeli life.

Only by understanding this sense of detachment and the perspectives from both sides, can we begin to see what the future might hold for these two brothers and their country.




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