Reference : V-P-LB-E-01481
Date : 04/2016
Country/Region : LEBANON
Caption : Beirut. The ICRC launches an interactive multimedia exhibition entitled “men: portraits of a journey”.
Photographer : SAADE, Joe
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : News release on ICRC website, 07.04.2016: “Beirut (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is launching an interactive multimedia exhibition today, entitled Men: Portraits of a Journey, at the Minus 1 venue in Beirut. The exhibition, which will run from 7 to 17 April, draws attention to seven Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian men whose lives have been massively disrupted by conflict and other violence in the region. "What is happening in the region today has reverberations throughout the world," said Fabrizzio Carboni, head of the ICRC delegation in Lebanon. "We hope that this exhibition will help people look beyond all that is most vividly in the news now – the stigma, the fear, the numbers – and see what men really have to endure as they struggle to keep going or to provide for their families." The exhibition consists of 14 portraits by the Lebanese photographer Joe Saade – two of each of the seven men. Together, they illuminate the social and psychological pressure to which men are subjected during conflict. While they view the portraits, visitors will hear, via audio recordings, narrative histories of the lives of the seven men. The interactive exhibition space, designed by Sabine Saba, is likely to make the experience particularly intense and involving. "We want to stress that these men, despite all that they have been through, are strong and survivors," said Soaade Messoudi, head of communications at the ICRC delegation in Lebanon, who conceived the idea of the exhibition. "They are trying to do everything they can to cope against unimaginable odds. That is why we have selected portraits of this kind, so that people can regard them as works of art, and absorb the stories they tell."
Ali Chatle:
"My name is Ali Mohammad Chatle. I am Palestinian but I’ve never been to Palestine. My dream is to go there one day. I was born here as a Palestinian refugee and have stayed in Lebanon.
My son is called Khaled Chatle. He left school and came to work with me. I have a daughter who is 17 years old but she stays at home.
My youngest son is 14 years old and he is the bread winner now because the rest of us can’t find regular work.
My oldest son used to work with me in construction. One day he fell from the fifth floor. It was the biggest tragedy of my life, and his hand is still injured today. When I saw him fall, I thought he died, so I rushed him to the hospital.
After that day I died a little too, I have to make up for the years he wasted out of school to help me. And now he is a young man [doing fine].
My parents told us many things about Palestine; that we have vast lands there and a house that they built. When they fled to Lebanon, they brought the keys to the house and the land deeds. My parents passed away in Lebanon but my father has been missing since the 1982 war. My father meant everything to us, he was our Palestine.
We are 35 000 individuals in the Baddawi camp. After the Syrian crisis, we witnessed an influx of people arriving in the camp. Work opportunities are rarer, water and electricity are also scarcer due to the added pressure on the infrastructure. So I decided to leave the country to provide a better life for my children and change our lives.
I tried to go to Turkey, then to Greece and finally to Germany. We paid the smuggler, left the camp and headed to the gathering area. Three days before we were due to leave, the operation was uncovered by the authorities.
We looked for another man who has a travel agency and who promised arrival in Europe within 15 days. That man destroyed us. He said that although it would be difficult for Palestinians, it would cost 1000 dollars per person and promised to guarantee the success of the process for my entire family. A few days later he gave us back our passports and the applications which had been refused by the Turkish embassy. The trip was thus cancelled. The second one to fail. I had sold everything I own, destroying me further.
I was thus determined to leave the country and put the house up for sale. The migration wave decreased the prices of houses as many Palestinian refugees emptied their homes and fled. I decided to head to Russia, and I was promised a visa within 10 days. But I couldn’t sell the house.
Everything degenerated since the death of Abou Ammar (Yasser Aarafat). We saw Palestine through him. He promised that we would return to Palestine…
You asked me if I have any good memories in my life, but honestly I can’t think of any."
Original material : digital
Resolution : 5760x3840
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : black and white