Sepia Prints (2014 - Present)
Portraits of Denial & Desire Sepia

Abu Ghazi. Digital Print. Sepia.
80 x 60 and 110 x 80 inches
John Halaka © 2015

Abu Ghazi - Krayem Niaf Kanj - Born 1924 El Zieb-Palestine. Lives in Nahr El Bared Refugee Camp - Lebanon.

Abu Ghazi was born in El Zieb Palestine in 1924 and was forcibly displaced, along with hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, from his homeland in 1948.  After a very difficulty journey, he settled, along with his young family, in Nahr El Bared Refugee camp in Northern Lebanon, where they faced hunger, cold and hardship, yet creatively dealt with the catastrophic loss that was inflicted upon them. Like other Palestinian refugees, his life has been defined by cycles of total and devastating loss and the process of building a life only to see it destroyed by circumstances beyond his control.

After 59 years of hardship and incessant work to support and raise his family in the refugee camp, Abu Ghazi once again lost everything that he had worked for when Nahr El Bared Refugee Camp was totally destroyed by the Lebanese military in 2007.   He and his wife stayed in their home as long as they could, before having to flee the 33 days of heavy shelling inflicted on the camp by the military. Well over 35,000 Palestinian refugees were displaced from the destroyed refugee camp and again became homeless. When the shelling stopped, Abu Ghazi and his wife went back to the camp to see the condition of their apartment and try to recover a few essentials. The camp had been severely destroyed and the great majority of the structures, including the building Abu Ghazi lived in, were reduced to rubble. 

A few days after they searched in futility for their destroyed home in the camp, Abu Ghazi’s wife suffered a stroke and died shortly after.