'Occupied Minds': Exhibition explores West Bank mental health crisis

'Occupied Minds': Exhibition explores West Bank mental health crisis
Medical charity MSF has launched a new exhibition in Amman to raise awareness about the West Bank's mental health crisis.
2 min read
10 October, 2018
The 'Occupied Minds' exhibition features work by photographer Moises Saman [Moises Saman]

A new exhibition from award-winning photographer Moises Saman and medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is highlighting the mental health impact of Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

Launched to coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10 October, the 'Occupied Minds' exhibition will run in Amman, Jordan until the end of the month.

"I have covered the Middle East extensively, but this was the first time I visited Hebron. What struck me most is how the impact of the Israeli occupation is really everywhere, affecting virtually every aspect of people's lives," said Saman. "These are individual stories, but their suffering is collective and transgenerational".

Among those featured in Saman's work is is Raed, a father of six, who is unable to provide for his family after being shot and injured by Israeli soldiers.

His story, like that of many others, reflects the deteriorating situation for many Palestinians struggling with mental health issues under Israeli occupation.

"Palestinians living in the West Bank experience enormous levels of direct and indirect violence in their daily lives and this is having an impact on the mental health of many of them," said Juan Carlos Ramos, MSF head of mission in Palestine.

"Every day, our teams work to support people suffering as a direct result of events related to the violence, including detention of relatives, violent home and school raids, house demolitions, the killing of family members, searches at checkpoints, and day to day harassments by settlers and soldiers."

Israel has occupied the West Bank with its military since 1967, committing daily crimes against Palestinian civilians.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

Along with appropriating land, occupying Israeli forces and settlers routinely torment Palestinians in Nablus, notably graffiti-spraying "death to Arabs" on Palestinian property.

The ‘Occupied Minds’ exhibition is hosted at the Fann Wa Chai cultural centre in Amman and is free for entry.