I met Hamad (pseudonym) during an Artist’s Residency at Umm El Fahem Gallery, Israel. He is the third generation descendent of a family from Al-Lajoun village that was heavily attacked in the 1948 War and subsequently destroyed by the state of Israel. The village’s lands were confiscated by the state and were given to the Jewish National Fund (KKL in Hebrew) and now are used as a park.
Other parts of the village land were given to Kibbutz Megido in which until today one of the village mosques is located. A few ruined buildings and the village’s graveyard are still there.
Hamad from time to time visits the site where his granddad’s house used to be. The photos, taken in the dead of the night, depict him meandering in the fields that now belong to the kibbutz, next to some ruins and the graveyard. Not wanting to be recognized, I suggested he wore a cloth, resembling a Jalabia – traditional regional wear. One in four Arab-Israelis (Palestinian citizens of Israel), about 300,000 in total, are internal refugees.