When most people think of Gaza, surfing is not the first thing that comes to mind. But photo journalist Ryan Rodrick Beiler has an eye for capturing the resilience and richness of life in this occupied land.
A former web editor for Sojourners, Beiler now serves on staff with the Mennonite Central Committee in Palestine and Israel. To learn more about Beiler’s extraordinary work, check out his photo essay “Gaza: The Persistent Paradox” (September-October 2013, Sojourners magazine) and the slideshow below.
While these pictures provide a unique look into life in this war-torn region, the words used in Beiler’s article are just as powerful. Referencing “Silence for Gaza”—a prose poem by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish—Beiler paints a more complete picture of Gaza as a land of both ugliness and beauty.
Sinaan Antoon, an Iraqi poet and associate professor at New York University’s Gallatin School, offers this excerpted translation of Darwish’s “Silence for Gaza”: