DOEL, BELGIUM: THIS IS DOEL

This is Doel, a 400-year-old village north-west of Antwerp that has been at the heart of a political battle for survival for over two decades. A state-funded corporation is seeking to raze it to make way for the land-hungry port of Antwerp. But members of the ever-dwindling local populace are fighting to keep their homes and the village alive. They say a second container dock isn’t necessary since the previous one, which opened in 2005, is being used to less than a fifth of its capacity (the corporation disputes this figure). What’s more, they argue, the riverside village has lush nature, culture and heritage in abundance – plus the first stone-mill in Belgium and a listed early 17th-century house that belonged to Peter Paul Rubens‘s family.http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/jun/04/doel-ghost-town-belgium-street-art-decay

doe 008 doe 009 doe 011 doe 012doe 014 doe 016doe 017 doe 018doe 020 doe 021 doe 022doe 023 doe 024doe 025 doe 026 doe 027doe 028 doe 029 doe 031doe 007 doe 032 doe 049 doe 050doe 052 doe 054 doe 055doe 056 doe 057doe 058 doe 059 doe 062doe 063 doe 064 doe 065doe 066 doe 067 doe 068doe 071 doe 072

30aug15. Doel, Belgium.

HEBRON, PALESTINE: WELCOME TO APARTHEID

I took a bus from Jerusalem to Hebron and got dropped off at the last stop, not that I knew what that meant. I then hailed a taxi for the Old City. And then I got dropped off and still didn’t know where to go from there, so I walked around the market for a bit and EVERYONE said “Welcome! Welcome!” They don’t have nearly enough consumers and they need them! I did my part, bought my favorite Casio watch in blue (for a steal, but fair for the seller) and got some mixed nuts, which this area is famous for. Before long, I was approached in a gentle way by a man named Ayman, who is a Palestinian activist and wanted to walk me around and explain the situation to me. I’m so glad we met.

ImageImage

Ayman, my Palestinian guide:

ImageImage

This was a Palestinian residence, but was destroyed in the Second Intifada in 2002:

Image

Now we’re getting into “H1” and “H2,” the inhumane division. Feels like I imagine the East vs. the West Blocs in Germany, must have felt like. H1 is Palestinian and H2, which used to be a thriving residential and commercial Palestinian area, is now controlled by the Israeli Army and is called “Ghost Town” because no one is allowed to live there or have a shop there. The buildings are locked up and falling into decay. The street is silent, somber.

ImageImage

This building stands between H1 and H2:

ImageImage

Look to your left, people, movement, in H1. On the right, desolate, empty:

ImageImage

This is the checkpoint on the deserted street that used to be filled with lively Palestinian market life. It’s just a sad little trailer. And to think it keeps people who actually have homes and old businesses over there, out!

ImageImage

Once through the checkpoint, here are the images of desolation. Ayman could only walk with me to a certain point and then was not allowed to go any further. (I hope you understand the injustice in this. It’s his home, his country, his land, his birthplace, yet he is forbidden to enter):

ImageImageImageImage

The checkpoint from the Israeli side:

ImageImageImage

There are two sides:

ImageImageImage

26DEC13. Hebron, Palestinian Territory.