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Love under Apartheid - Beginnings
The Love Under Apartheid project developed after a particularly compelling conversation with a good friend about her relationship with her fiancé. We were having dinner when she shared her story, detailing the difficulties of maintaining her relationship, and concerns she and her fiancé have about the future. It was then that I fully understood the extent to which the Israeli apartheid system affects individuals by restricting a deeply personal right: their right to love.
When we find a partner, we think about our futures: where will we live; what kind of home we will create; would we like children; if so, how many—but planning a future together isn’t the same for Palestinians.
Indigenous Palestinians have been living under Israeli military occupation for nearly 70 years now. Thinking about occupation historically and in the abstract, we may not comprehend the extent to which it affects the most private and intimate parts of Palestinian lives. My friend and her fiancé have already managed to defy the apartheid system by meeting, falling in love and becoming engaged to be married. These were huge obstacles to conquer, but even more difficulties lay ahead.
After reflecting on my friend’s story, I became outraged that, because of the Israeli occupation, she couldn’t be with the person she loved. I knew her story was not the only one of its kind, and proposed we collect those of others working to resist the apartheid that has defined and directed their lives.
In a place where love is made nearly impossible, these stories hope to capture singular moments of love in struggle. I hope you’ll watch the videos, share them with friends, family and loved ones, and join us in defending the right to love.
Project Founder and Coordinator
I would like to extend my deep gratitude to the individuals who worked above and beyond their means to see this project to its end. Above all, I would like to thank the people who have generously shared their stories with the world in the hope that, one day, the Palestinian people will be free.
The Civic Coalition for the Defense of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem