Jerusalem24 – “The Jerusalem Book” is a photobook by 12 Jerusalemite photographers with over 130 photos from Jerusalem that highlight the daily life of the city, the markets, portraits of people and historical buildings – especially the mosques and churches.
Jerusalemite photographer Faiz Abu Rmeleh told Vibes that this work introduces Jerusalem, the Arab city, proving its Arab identity. The book works on documenting and uncovering the true image of Jerusalem. Abu Rmeleh adds, “What happens every day in the city, the changes in the street – it’s important since it highlights the practices and changes to the city by Israeli authorities who try to Judaize the city.”
Abu Rmeleh says that the main goal was to tell the story of Jerusalem in one book, to show the simplicity of the city, he explains. “The pictures talk to the people, they’re not in need of someone to explain life in Jerusalem, since photos and images are a common language for all.”
The Jerusalem Book consists of over 100 pages of articles, photographs, as well as a historical narrative of Jerusalem.
The photographers worked on two books, the first of which is The Jerusalem Book, and the other a mini version of the original named “Passport to Jerusalem”, designed to be easily carried so as to give a chance for people to delve into the experience wherever they are.
Passport to Jerusalem
“People in Jerusalem don’t have an identity, we don’t have passports,” Abu Rmeleh explains. “We made the small photobook as a passport since we wanted to give it to others, to know more about Jerusalem and understand the daily life of the city.”
He ventures that through the photos, people can see that Jerusalemites are humans too, they have a life, and a culture – like any other human being in this world.
The idea for the book started when three photographers thought of documenting Jerusalem and bringing the archived photos to life. Bayt Mal Al-Quds Asharif Agency supported the initiative after they explained the importance of making a book about Jerusalem by the people of Jerusalem, at a time when Israel employs a media and propaganda machine that produces books, news, and other material that supports its agenda.
The official launch of The Jerusalem Book took place in Morocco last month. The authors are working on launching the book in Jerusalem next month or at the beginning of next year.
Listen to the full interview on Vibes.