14 Photos Capturing Moments Of Joy In A Region Plagued By Conflict

Much of the visual imagery that comes from east Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza is of conflict. Israelis and Palestinians have been fighting over the region on and off for decades as part of the broader Arab-Israeli conflict. But amid uncertainty and violence, people also go about their daily lives, enjoying simple pleasures like lunch with friends or yoga classes.
It's those small moments that Jordanian photographer Tanya Habjouqa set out to show in her project Occupied Pleasures. Habjouqa, who lives in east Jerusalem, photographed Palestinians experiencing the little joys of life, from playing cards to joining the Girl Scouts.
"Occupied Pleasures presents a nuanced, multidimensional portrayal of humanity’s ability to find pleasure in the face of trying circumstances in [the] occupied West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza," she writes in the description of her project. "[It] straddles passive and active meanings: to be occupied under Israel, and to occupy oneself, joyfully and defiantly, in pastime and simple pleasures."
Tanya Habjouqa is one of 29 female photographers featured in Represent: 29 Women We Admire, a photo exhibit presented by Refinery29 on display at this year's Photoville, which runs September 21 to 25 in Brooklyn, NY. Ahead, Habjouqa shares her powerful images with Refinery29.

Editor's note: All captions were provided by
Habjouqa and have been edited for length and clarity.

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