لمياء ابوخضرا

You Sat at the Fountain While
You Stole the House on the Hill

Photolithography, monotype, etching, and letterpress printing, gouache
10 in x 13 in // 25 cm x 33 cm

This project began as an accidental encounter. While looking for old photographs of a family home in Wadi Hunayn, Palestine, I stumbled onto strange images of armed men in military dress and jeeps in front of the house. Even stranger, on top of each man’s head was fez. Upon further research, I realised that the images were dated to 1948, the year my family was forcibly displaced, and the captions written in Hebrew translated to “Haganah liberating the house on the hill.” These images and their captions presented a triumphant perception of reality that contradicts the one I know.

In 1948, the house belonging to the Taji family in Wadi Hunayn was stolen by a militia. My family’s belongings were looted; the fezzes the militia men were wearing belonged to my great, great grandfather. My family was never allowed to return to the dwelling again.

Using hand drawn diagrams, family photographs, and other archival material, this book explores the theft of my family’s home.