Ever since Brandon Stanton‘s hugely popular Humans of New York (HONY) page launched in November 2010, hundreds of pages from around the world have followed suit. The theme, which is fairly common to all the pages, is rather simple: a photographer or a group of photographers go around a neighborhood, village, city or country and ask people questions accompanied by a memorable portrait.
The project has reached all corners of the planet, from Rio De Janeiro to Tehran, passing through most countries of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The projects’ awareness-raising potential hasn't gone unnoticed, as one commenter on a recent HONY image said: “I look forward to these posts every day now. They restore my faith in humanity.” This comment received over 7,000 likes.
In the occupied Palestinian territories, awareness-raising is certainly needed. And that's what “Humans of Palestine” set out to do. When Global Voices Online asked Jafar Zuabi, one of Humans of Palestine's team members, to describe the idea behind Humans of Palestine, he explained:
Humans of Palestine was created to reflect the dreams of Palestinian people and their daily lives. But since the offensive started, the page aims at restoring the humanity that is often stripped away when Palestinians are reduced to calculative deaths, forgettable names, and burned and mutilated bodies, rather than people who shared loved ones, stories, dreams and aspirations.
The page, which boasts over 22,000 followers on Facebook and 7,500 on Twitter, stands out from other HONY-type pages in its coverage of both Palestinians in Palestine as well as those in the diaspora, both refugees and emigrants. Indeed, the Humans of Palestine team covers Gaza, the West Bank, Israel, Palestinian refugee camps across the Arab world and the Palestinian diaspora.
How does it work? Jafar replied:
We ended our conversation with a touch of optimism:
We think we are making a difference. Our message is reaching the Arab and the western countries more and more every day.
Here are a few of the photographs shared on the page: