Jerusalem24 – The National Library of Palestine yesterday, Wednesday, received the first collection of rare historical photographs belonging to the Japanese photographer, Ryuichi Hirokawa, which documented Palestine since 1967.
Marwa Jabara Tibi, director of Zainab Productions, which has exclusive rights to Hirokawa’s photographs in Palestine; presented the National Library at its headquarters in Ramallah 80 photographs as a gift from Hirokawa.
Tibi explained that while working on making a series of documentaries she discovered several archives, which she decided to present to the National Library whose mission is to restore the Palestinian archives scattered all over the world or looted.
The head of the National Library, Issa Qaraqe, said the photographer Hirokawa’s gift is a support for the Palestinian people and their freedom, thanking his struggle for Palestine, noting that these photographs represent an important beginning of the actual work of the National Library, especially since Hirokawa was one of those who contributed to the establishment of an international court in Japan to try Ariel Sharon after the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon, and he used those pictures as evidence against the Israeli occupiers.
For his part, the Director-General of the National Archives, Fawaz Salameh, stressed the importance of Hirokawa’s photographs, which he took during his work in Palestine, pointing out that the National Library will begin to work out an agreement to obtain the rest of his collection as soon as possible.
Hirokawa, 78, says he was inspired by the Palestinian tragedy which made him want to become a photojournalist to document everything about Palestine. He lived and worked in Palestine, and for over 30 years he took pictures of Palestinian villages and life, documenting everything about them.
The National Library of Palestine was established in 2017 after President Mahmoud Abbas decided to turn a presidential palace that was being built north of Ramallah into the national library.