Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Glimpse: 500 Children, 500 Cameras, 500 Moments

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Glimpse: 500 Children, 500 Cameras, 500 Moments

Article excerpt

In 2007 photojournalist and Agence France Press war photographer Ramzi Haidar returned from Iraq (where he noticed how fascinated Iraqi children were by his cameras) and launched the project Lahza (Glimpse or Moment, in Arabic) to help children in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon document their lives. Lahza brought together volunteer photographers, journalists and artists for a year to teach the basics of photography to 500 children, ages 7 to 12, who live in some of the most marginalized communities on earth.

Twenty of the children's photos, chosen from thousands they took, were on display from March 11 to April 8 at the Jerusalem Fund Gallery in Washington, DC. Rima Abou Chakra, project coordinator of Zakira (Memory in Arabic), an all-volunteer NGO born out of the first project, talked about the children, their ongoing photography workshops, and the book Lahza, proceeds from which fund Zakira projects.

Some of the children's photos are poignant, truthful, others frankly joyful or just plain fun-and each picture is worth a thousand words. One boy took a photo of his friend Mohamed El-Hajj Hassan, 12, who lost his legs due to an Israeli cluster bomb, sitting in his wheelchair. Lahza volunteers found Mohamed in Rashidiyeh refugee camp near Sur and gave him a camera, and he is now on his way to becoming a successful photographer. …

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