I am Phil Lancaster. I’m currently training for a 45-mile Ultra-marathon to raise money for the wonderful work of the Galilee Foundation – but the seeds of this particular journey were actually sown last September in, of all places, Tel Aviv Museum.
It was there that I saw Spellbound, an amazing solo exhibition by the incredible Palestinian artist Samah Shihadi – and it was to be a life-changing experience
Through her work I was able to see, really for the first time, Palestine not as some abstract political concept, or a problem to be somehow ‘solved’ but as a story of humanity – of actual living, loving, creative, caring people.
People who want the same things as all the rest of us. Families and friends who, despite the barriers, both literal and metaphorical, placed in their way, manage to live and love and hope.
I don’t profess to be an expert on politics or international relations, but I do recognise injustice when I see it. So I hope in some small way I can help the Foundation in working to redress that imbalance by giving Palestinian students access to higher education and helping Palestinian youngsters develop a greater connection with their own history, language and culture.
In addition to the Ultra, I am a keen photographer and hope that through my portraits I can play my own part, however small, in bringing a human face to the struggle for human rights.’
Abu Yakub spent all his working life as a deliveryman in the Old City – carrying fridges and freezers round the narrow streets on his back. An incredibly strong man – but only about four feet tall. Apparently it looked as if the fridges were moving around on their own!
Hadeel is a third-year urban studies student at Al Quds university, a human rights activist in Jerusalem and a talented photographer.
Rami is a jeweller and antique dealer/collector who has a fabulous shop in the old city in a building that has been his family’s home for 300 years.
All photos are by Phil Lancaster.
Why not show Phil your support by donating to his Ultra Marathon page?