Occupied Pleasures

31 May 2013

Rafah, Gaza

A woman plays with two lion cubs, born in the Rafah Zoo. Gazan zookeepers are renowned for their creativity under difficult circumstances, having famously once painted a donkey as a zebra, and also smuggled animals in through secret tunnels, and stuffed them once they were dead, as they were not easy to replace.


More than four million people live in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, often in overcrowded or deprived conditions. People’s movements are circumscribed and the threat of violence never quite goes away. Yet although the challenges of conflict and occupation overhang everyday life, people are not solely focused on the difficulties of survival.


Rafiah, Gaza, Palestinian Territory

Technical information

Shutter speed: 1/160
ISO: 125
F-Stop: 13.0
Focal Length: 35.0 mm
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EF 35 mm f/1.4L USM lens
Lens: Canon EF 35 mm f/1.4L USM lens

Tanya Habjouqa
Tanya Habjouqa was born in Jordan and educated in the United States, receiving her masters in Global Media and Middle East Politics from the University of London SOAS. Beginning her career in Texas, she documented Mexican migrant communities and urban poverty before returning to the Middle East. Tanya is known for gaining unique access to sensitive gender, social, and human rights stories in the Middle East. She is a freelance photographer, features writer, and a founding member of the Rawiya photo collective (founded by five female photographers from across the Middle East).

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