One evening I was on a walk with a dear friend who is a professor at Gaza University. We were on the northern outskirts of Gaza City when we came across a neighborhood in complete ruins. He knows my interest in such things and we began to explore. He explained that the buildings had once been a school, a library and a fire department. Since the Israeli Defense Forces attacks, they were nothing more than partially standing walls, mangled wire and rubble.
After a few minutes of photo taking, we ran into a group of young boys from the neighborhood who were passing the time playing in the ruins. There is a terrible lack of proper places for children to play in Gaza, but their young spirits make do and pretty much anything will become their playground.
One of the boys followed us around for a while after his friends had left. He had a kind smile and was considerate and did not try to make himself appear in each and every one of my frames. I like to remember children like that, so on our way out I stopped, smiled and took a couple of images of him standing in front of a bullet ridden wall. I did not pose him or direct him, I just let him stand…the result was an image that has been widely published and speaks volumes in its simplicity.
-Zoriah is a multiple award winning photojournalist and war photographer with clients such as Newsweek, The BBC, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR. He contributed this piece to PalestineChronicle.com. Visit his website: www.Zoriah.com