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Student unveils hope in photos

The tragedy and hope that can be found in Israel and Palestine are displayed in photographs in the McInnis lobby. Junior Adam Beach and senior Peder Weigner travelled there this past summer to capture the realities of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict through photography and documentary.

Beach’s passion for the conflict began when he went on a trip to Israel and Palestine with his high school class. “You see horrible heartbreaking situations and now that I’ve seen and heard, I just can’t stop,” Beach said.

His pictures show the distinctions between the two groups. They display what Beach calls the David (Palestine) and Goliath (Israel) fight that is going on. The Israeli army is taking away parts of Palestinian land by building walls. Homes are being demolished without giving notice to the families. The Israeli army comes in with tanks and young Palestinian children throw rocks at them.

Even though “some [Palestinians] blow themselves up in Jewish cafes, thousands stand up through nonviolent demonstrations,” Beach said.

Beach and Weigner were able to witness a Palestinian soccer game played on land that the Israeli’s were beginning to take over. The Israeli military refused to chase the nonviolent demonstrators in order to arrest them, so the military men sat down and watched the game.

After the Virginia Tech shooting, the Palestinians held a memorial service on land that had been taken by the Israelis. “I watched soldiers crumble before [the memorial service],” Beach said.

The experience led him to create his own major at Eastern. It combines studies in anthropology, Israel and Palestine. His hope is to eventually move to this area .

Beach hopes that he will inspire students to think and respond through his pictures.

If you would like to talk with Beach about his photos, e-mail wagebeach@gmail.com. The documentary, Handala, will be released in early May and will be shown in Philadelphia and at Eastern. Also see Beach and Weigner’s blog, yallahyallahyallah.blogspot.com.

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