Lensa Gaza

July 18, 2013

An old lady of Gaza, photograph by Amir Farid, at Lensa Gaza exhibition, University of Malaya.

The conflict between Gaza and Palestine is sadly, still ongoing since 2006, and has no sign to cease yet. Over the seven years of war we heard shocking news about terrible fire and bombs, haunted by how many lives were taken, how children were trained to kill. And we saw pictures of dead bodies, how people lost their homes, wept of fear and despair.

Aqsa Sharif Berhad initiated a project Lensa Gaza to document the lives of people in Gaza through photography. They portrayed how the people strove though the hardship and live the best that they could. There are portraits of people working, faces of men, women and children. There are also photos of, to my astonishment, beautiful landscapes of Gaza. Very stunning landscape that you probably wouldn't expect in Gaza.

I guess the images were copyrighted so it's illegal to duplicate them here. I particularly love that portrait of the old lady. Through her eyes we could feel her complicated emotions and extraordinary stories.

A war crushes spirits and takes lives. People live in fear, danger and despair.

The fear of death and even worse, the fear of losing someone you dearly love.

Can you ever imagine that? 

I didn't know that democracy and freedom are hard-earned fruits until stories of Aung San Suu Kyi were told. I didn't know how people lived in wars until I read Anne Frank's story. I start to understand the true meaning of freedom, human rights and the importance of peace. 

Peace and freedom are such valuable treasures that we can never afford to lose. 

Visitors left their voices on this area to show moral support and thoughts on war and peace. This lady painted on the canvas caught my attention. She was holding what I believe to be a rifle, with a contented smile on her face. I wonder how she could so casually manage it, but since it's for the her home and her country, that's the way.

The exhibition is located at Galeri Seni Universiti Malaya, which is a perfect place for appreciation and admiration of art. Being quiet and serene, overlooking a gorgeous panoramic landscape of the university, it is an ideal place for reflection and revelation.

After the visual tour of how the people live in a war zone, I walked out, looked at this beautiful city of ours and thought,

We are all lucky people, aren't we?

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