Growing up in an environment of war, restriction, boundaries, tradition and many challenges on a daily basis, such as Gaza, is not very easy, especially for girls. The ongoing occupation, conflict and Israeli imposed blockade have an impact on girls’ lives in Gaza.
Monique Jaques is a photojournalist is fundraising for a photo book, Gaza Girls: Growing up in the Gaza Strip. Her book documents girls coming of age in one of the most difficult places, Gaza. As the media focuses on the negative side and on the difficulties of girls growing up in Gaza, Monique is aiming to show the bright and positive side of girls growing up in Gaza. Through photography, we’re able to see the strength of girls and women of this place. There is proof that there’s always a space for dreams and hopes. A reminder that dreams and hobbies are much bigger than the violence and the difficulties they face.
Monique explained to Barakabits that this book:
“…is intended to highlight the challenges of girls daily life, as well as moments of joy found in a complicated existence.”
Jaques launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to have her images printed and distributed to the world. The book contains pictures of girls from Gaza with their stories, in their own words, about the challenges they face and their moment of joy and happiness. It’s a way to strengthen the voice of women and girls.
In Gaza, young women have their own ways to cope with the difficulties and to overcome challenges. Also, ways to develop their hobbies and goals. From surfing, singing, writing and aiming to be medical students. Monique is showing that despite the different circumstances, teenage girls in Gaza are very similar to the teenage girl she was once.
Here are some pictures from the documenting book, Gaza Girls: Growing up in the Gaza Strip:
You can read more and support this amazing endeavour by buying her book through her site!