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Sabras – The story of Wadi Fuqin
Wadi Fuqin, a small Palestinian village, carries the inconceivable complexities of the current Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The village is a well preserved model of a traditional agricultural way of life, developed thousands of years ago. The community has harnessed the water flowing from the valley’s eleven springs to nourish their fields. Kilometers of canals direct the spring water to storage pools and onwards to the many fruit and vegetable fields. Currently, the agricultural way of life and natural landscape is endangered by many threats. To the east, the massive development of the Beitar Ilit Settlement is posing an immediate danger to the springs, to the west, the planned separation wall threatens to harm more springs and close the village in between the wall and the settlement.
The villagers are not permitted to cross to Israel nor are they allowed to cross to the settlement. Some of the villagers, left with no other income possibilities work in the settlement’s (with special permission) construction site. Building the threat to their village themselves. As an Israeli I approach this story with great passion. A known saying in Hebrew determines that a person is the scenery of his childhood. Wadi Fuqin is part of the scenery of my childhood. The smell of the fresh vegetables, the clear water are a good part of my memories, I grew up in a country mixed with Jews and Arabs and no walls in between. Its true that the atmosphere was not always welcoming on both sides but is still part of my memories, part of who I am. I document the beauty of the place, the significance of the scenery and produce the land brings to its owners, the villagers. I pay close attention to the joy and love the place and produce bring to the villagers, it is important for me to document it, before it might change, for them and for myself.
Leeor is a filmmaker and a photographer. A graduate of the Tel Aviv University’s Film department and the International Center of Photography Documentary and Photojournalism program.
Leeor has worked on independent films and commercial television programs as a cinematographer, film editor and director. His short and feature length films were screened in film festivals and television channels world wide. Currently based in New York, working on film, photography and multimedia projects and teaching at the International Center of Photography.