From the River to the Sea

These photos tell just one story of the land, out of many.

By Jinchen Zou


[dropcap]A[/dropcap]t its thinnest parts, Israel is 8 miles wide between the Mediterranean Sea and the West Bank. Under a two-state solution, land the size of New Jersey will contain two very different but intertwined states: Israel and Palestine. The saying “from the river to the sea,” describing the area between the two of the borders of the land, Jordan River on the East and the Mediterranean in the West, conjures different connotations for different sides of the conflict, some extreme, some moderate.

This collection of photos showcases people living on the land, each in a world of their own. The collection explores people’s various relationships with the land: land that is occupied, land that is holy, land that has history. The people in these pictures could be identified with labels: Arabs, Jews, Israelis, Palestinians, secular, religious, queer, soldiers, elder, working class, etc. They could wear many identities, for example hyphenated ones like Arab-Israeli or compound ones like religious Zionists. Fundamentally, they are people with hopes and ambitions, but whose lives become inadvertently political by virtue of where they live. These photos tell just one story of the land, out of many.

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Jinchen Zou is a rising junior in Calhoun double majoring in Global Affairs and Economics and Mathematics. Contact her at