January 13, 2012  •  Category:



This giveaway is not for a cookbook but a photography book; it is a collection of photographs taken by 500 children residing in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. This project was carried out by an NGO, Zakira ( meaning memory in Arabic) whose primary goal is to promote the value of photography and images. Members and volunteers of Zakira spent a year teaching these children in all of the twelve refugee camps  the basics of photography and how to use it as a means of self-expression. The children were given disposable cameras and the resulting photos have not been edited or cropped.

The NGO members who took part in this project were very careful not to influence the children but rather  to stimulate their sense of observation and creativity. 

I had read about this  a while back and stumbled on the book and the  photo-journalist who took an active part in this project at a photography club  in Beirut, DAR EL-MUSAWER

I thought that book  might be of interest to a lot of people;  I will send it  to someone who leaves a comment on this post and whose name would be picked at random.

Text in this book is both in English and Arabic. The book is in its entirety  composed of these children’s photographs and provides no commentary other than the location of the camp as well as the name and age of the photographer.

Final date to enter comments for this giveaway: January 31, 2012 



63 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    A great project and interesting book!



  2. Diana says:

    I would love to see the world through those children’s eyes.

  3. Vicki says:

    Wow. I’d love to see these children’s photos!

  4. Kavey says:

    If that cover image is anything to go by, the children have produced some very striking images indeed.
    We went to Lebanon in April, and of course, there was much in the news about the Palestinian camp refugees. What a difficult life they lead, I cannot imagine what it must be like. Any other country would not only be censored for its occupation of Palestinian land but have action taken against it… its a strange contradiction that the Western world won’t stand up for the Palestinians.
    I would love to win a copy of this book, and see the children’s images.

  5. Maureen Stewart says:

    What a positive and memorable experience for all involved 🙂 Thanks for bringing our attention to Zakira – I, for one, had never heard of the NGO. And by the way, that kibbe pie with chicken, onion jam and nuts pictured under “You might also like” looks mouth-watering…it’s breakfast time here in Vienna…

  6. Sahana Rangarajan says:

    I have been a silent follower of your blog for some time now. Helping young minds imbibe concepts such as self-expression through photos is a very commendable project. More power to those who come out with such initiatives 🙂

  7. Louise says:

    Your blog has now prompted me to find out more about the book and the project, and through various articles I’ve now read online, have been amazed by the beautiful and touching photos taken by the children. So inspiring. I sincerely hope that empowering the children in such a small way helps encourage their dreams for life beyond the refugee camps..

  8. Angel of the North says:

    They have run this type of project with kids in deprived areas in the UK here and produced some stunning results as well as enabling the children to acquire a further artistic vocabulary. Will the children who show particular promise/interest be funded to continue their explorations in the future. The results of these types of project also form a significant social document. I also recommend this book:

  9. sare says:

    What a fantastic project! I hope It’ll give the children the new vision on earth besides living all the bad things they have been living…

  10. Joseph Nicholas says:

    Wonderful concept- I hope it changes lives inside and outside the camps.

  11. Megan Moore says:

    I would like to win this so I could donate it to our school library. Living in South Mississippi many of these children will never get to see another country or its people. Let alone from a child’s view. What a wonderful treasure this would be for them.

  12. the indolent cook says:

    What a cool project! I would love to see the photography in this book – I’m finding the cover intriguing already as it is.

  13. Lesa Faris says:

    A child’s perspective awakens adults on many levels. Thanks for sharing!

  14. UmmOmar says:

    Children often notice unbelievable details! I bet it is a wonderful collection of details spot!

  15. deana says:

    Wow, that’s a photo that any professional would be proud of… what eyes these children have and what they must have seen… Great book

  16. Amanda says:

    What a wonderful program and what a great opportunity for the children to learn and be motivated !

  17. meredith says:

    I love photo portraits. I’m sure the view point of a child here is very interessing…I know I love the photos my daughters take.

  18. Kathleen says:

    What a beautiful book. I dream of seeing Lebanon one day. Thank you for all the glimpses you provide.

  19. Oui, Chef says:

    As someone who is very concerned about the state of Palestine, my father-in-law would cherish this book. If I don’t “win” it here, I will certainly look to buy him a copy elsewhere. Thanks for sharing it with us, Joumana.

  20. Ariana says:

    What a wonderful idea. People often forget how children are affected in war and unrest struck areas of the world.

  21. Mac says:

    …I find it refreshing that there is no commentary, photographs are perceived in a different way when they stand on their own.

  22. Mariam says:

    What a beautiful idea for a book. Thanks for sharing it!

  23. Rachel Garcia says:

    Looks very interesting!

  24. donnael says:

    I do a lot of photography and think this is a great project. I hope the kids get a lot of positive feedback from readers. I’d love to see it. Thanks for letting me know about it.

  25. Shaz says:

    If I had to choose, I would definitely support Megan Moore above me for such a good cause.

    However, I’ll post anyway 🙂 I’m Belgian-American but grew up in Dubai and Morocco, and needless to I say became an avid lover of Lebanese food (or at least, the vegetarian parts). Here in the Netherlands it difficult to come across decent lebanese, let alone my all-time-favourite, maanakish.

    Donc merci pour amener un petit peu de l’autre cote du monde qui me manque tellement dans mon feed toutes les semaines!

    As a lover of photography tip-toeing into the development sector, I can only praise this project.

    Happy new year!


  26. Susan says:

    I totally agree with Shaz above. This would be a wonderful gift to Megan’s school library!

  27. Nour says:

    Sounds like a really interesting project!

  28. Jen says:

    Love the idea! I remember there was a similar project in Brazil. Kids got disposible cameras and took pictures.

  29. Liz says:

    Oh I would love to have this wonderful collection of recipes and photographs… if I don’t get selected how can I purchase one!!! Thank you for the offer!

    Happy New Year! Wa kil sina wa ente salmie!

  30. Tim Vidra says:

    This would be an amazing book to own. Love the innocence of the photography! Thanks for the chance!


  31. kim says:

    I enjoy looking at documentary photography. This is be a great coffee table took, not to mention the opportunity to learn something from the eyes of other contemporaries.

  32. Élena says:

    What a wonderful idea…I’d love to see this for Kurdish refugee camps, too.

  33. Christine @ Fresh says:

    I’ve heard of such projects and I think it is an awesome way to get a glimpse into these children’s lives.

  34. Marla says:

    As someone of Palestinian descent, I greatly appreciate you bringing attention to this project. Thank you for spreading the word about this project, and for all of the wonderful recipes and posts!

  35. Tiffany says:

    The photography project from which this book was born is such a wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing your discovery with us.

  36. Katie says:

    looks very interesting!

  37. Jamie says:

    Our home is filled with photography books – it is one of my husband’s passions. This book sounds fascinating!

  38. Claire says:

    I would love to share this book with my kids. BTW, your blog is awesome!

  39. Claudia says:

    What a wonderful project to do. Imagining a lot of heartbreak in the pages but maybe tinged with hope.

  40. 7alim says:

    I attended the inaugural DC Palestinian Arts and Film Festival a few months ago. During one of the sessions, a filmmaker mentioned a similar project involving refugee children in the West Bank and Gaza, but they were given small *camcorders* to document their daily lives. I think they’re beginning to compile them, and I’m super-excited that the world will soon be able to see what life on a mukhayyam is from the eyes of its children.

    This book looks GREAT! I also won’t lie when I say I’m excited about this giveaway!

  41. Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) says:

    What a wonderful project. I would love this book. In the event I do not win, where can I buy it?

  42. Theresa Gebrail says:

    Toss my name in the hat! The book looks wonderfully compelling. Thank you!

  43. paula mello says:

    Joumana, I love your blog! I love lebanese food, have a few members in the family from Syria… I’d love to win this book, full of hope in a better future.

    Warmest regards from Brazil!

  44. Bria @ WestofPersia says:

    Wow, this is fabulous. What a great idea for a book.

  45. Cathy says:

    What a worthwhile project. Children are amazing–with far more depth and resilience than most adults ever imagine.

  46. Jade says:

    Hi Joumana, I look at your website almost everyday to get recipes. I cook and serve some of the recipes in our table weekly for my better half is an Arab, a Palestian raised in Lebanon. His birthday is soon and I think that this book will be the best thing to give him. If I’m not lucky to win this book, please tell me where can I buy it?Thanks a lot! 🙂

  47. Nadji says:

    Je ne gagne jamais donc, j’ai peu de chance d’être tirée au sort, mais ce livre doit être passionnant. Peut-être un moyen de se le procurer autrement.
    A très bientôt

  48. Julia says:

    I’d love to win a copy of this book!

  49. Cindy says:

    Bless the children of Palestine & the world.

  50. Cindy says:

    What a wonderful idea for a book !

  51. Candace says:

    I’d love to win a copy! What a great project.

  52. Mark Wisecarver says:

    Oh my gosh! One way or another I have to get a copy of this. 🙂
    Simply awesome.

  53. Aisha says:

    What a wonderful idea for a book….Would be great to share at community events!

    Great Blog, keep up the good work!!

  54. Melinda says:

    Wow. This looks like a powerful book.

  55. Larry Gober says:

    What a wonderful idea for a book, children see the world so differently from adults.

  56. David says:

    Love to see the book. Great blog! One of my favorites.

  57. jthorson says:

    I remember these children. I wish everyone did.

  58. Sare says:

    Wow, this book looks beautiful and amazing. fingers crossed!

  59. Dressed and Eaten says:

    Would love to win a copy! Crossing fingers.

  60. Kelly Ledsinger says:

    I would in turn “gift ” this amazing book , to the host and hostess of my first Houston Interfaith Ministries Dinner . They were a muslim couple who very graciously opened their home and served dinner to 10 strangers. We ate wonderful middle eastern food and discussed our differences and what we had in common !

  61. Chrissy says:

    Thanks for the link to the book! I may have to acquire this if I read it or not.

  62. obin says:

    I’ve read several good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to create such a great site.

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