2012 — student award of excellence
Gabriel Romero is a freelance photojournalist based in Los Angeles, CA. He specializes in local and international news in the areas of conflict, environmental, and humanitarian coverage. He is well versed in documentary photography as well as video production and multimedia. He is currently accepting domestic and international work. Most recently, Gabriel attended the 2011 Eddie Adams Workshop - Barnstorm XXIV, was honored with a gallery exhibit at FotoWeek DC and is a 2012 Alexia Foundation Scholar.
The West Bank is an Israeli-occupied, Palestinian territory that is home to approximately 17,000 Bedouin tribespeople. This population is comprised of five separate tribes who are traditionally nomadic and agro-pastoralist. These Bedouin originate in the Negev Desert but, following the 1948 establishment of the State of Israel, they were forced to move from the Negev and into an area west of the Jordan River, at that time administered by Jordan. Following the 1967 Six Day War, they found themselves under the administration of an Israeli government that has occupied the area known as the West Bank ever since.
The current plight of these Bedouin is a tragic consequence of the occupation, under which they endure crippling poverty and degradation. Israel’s introduction of a separation wall in 2004, and its expansion of illegal Jewish settlements throughout the West Bank have further pushed the Bedouin into small, slum-like camps, effectively ending their nomadic existence. The Israeli government does not permit the Bedouin to build permanent structures and the army - with little or no warning - regularly destroys their temporary ones under the pretext of a violation of the law.
The future of the Bedouin throughout the West Bank is extremely uncertain. They are now facing a breakdown of their traditional culture and simply have nowhere left to go.