Under the olive tree
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The ability to be resilient and unwavering in the decision to be proudly Palestinian, despite the oppressive hold of the Israeli occupation, strikes designer Sherida Kuffour as glaringly brave. Olive trees represent this bravery; they can live for hundreds of years, sometimes even thousands, providing an economic resource and bearing the fruit of life for generations of Palestinians.
Drought-resistant and able to grow in poor soil and conditions, the olive tree has multiple functions: it produces oil, provides heat in a fire, is harvested for soap and provides protection from the sun. This is why the ‘Under the olive tree’ hat was created: by wearing this hat, notwithstanding any hardship, you, too, symbolically embody resilience and stability; and by standing under an olive tree, you are protected.
- Sherida Kuffour (NL, GH)
Sherida Kuffour is a Graphic Designer and Illustrator from The Netherlands, where she currently studies an MA in Design at the Sandberg Instituut. As a multi-disciplinary designer, with experience in publishing, navigational design and branding, strategic approaches to projects and brand developments ensure a thorough and critical work process.
- Gaza Refugee Camp (PS)
Gaza camp is a refugee camp near Jerash, where almost 40,000 Palestinian refugees are living. They, their parents or grandparents, fled from Gaza in 1967, when Israel invaded the Gaza strip, which was at that time under Egyptian rule. These Palestinian refugees never received Jordanian citizenship. Until today they don’t have a national number and are therefore stateless. As such, they aren’t allowed to work, don’t have access to regular healthcare, and they can’t afford to further their education outside the camp. If they would like to get a job, they need to buy a working permit of 500 JOD (± € 600), which is only valid for 6 months. So for most people this doesn’t make any sense at all. One cannot understand how these people aren’t offered any way out, no right to return, no status, no opportunities, no future. These Palestinian refugees have lived under inhumane conditions for 50 years now. Although we were aware that we were visiting one of the poorest camps in Jordan, nobody expected that the refugees struggle this much. We were silenced, speechless, saddened, angry, but above all we felt powerless and were struggling how to relate to this uncomfortable truth. Some felt really depressed, others were fighting with feelings of guilt for not taking enough action, and at the same time we felt unease in being part of a van with international visitors, being dropped at places in the camp to visit, watch and leave. It underlined our privileged position and the bubble we live in.
By: Khadeja Abu Amrah, Sanaa Abu Amrah (Gaza Camp, Jerash, JO)
Ø 18 cm