Basel Yazouri: Changing the Lens

By Doaa Ali, Shatha Yaish and Riham Kousa

IMG_8695The green meadows dotting New York’s Hudson Valley paint a very different picture than the crowded alleys of the Gaza Strip where Basel Yazouri, 20, grew up. Accustomed to the destruction and poverty of war-torn Gaza, the 20-year-old Palestinian is adjusting to his temporary home at Bard College, a small liberal arts school north of New York City.

Dubbed a prodigy, Yazouri was offered a fellowship by the prestigious Magnum Foundation, becoming the first Palestinian and the youngest recipient ever of the fellowship.

Yazouri says he feels perplexed in the rural quiet and has trouble finding interesting material to photograph. He misses the noise and the mayhem of Gaza.

For us, Basel embodies what it’s like to be a Palestinian today, torn between leaving or staying in Palestine. If we do leave, torn between homesickness and making a new life. We ourselves have faced such difficult choices.


What a life time in Gaza looks like?

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Click to see a timeline of events that have happened in Basel’s life.