After conducting a month-long tour of the UK, renowned photojournalist, Hamde Abu Rahma, touched Palestinian soil on Friday, having conveyed the message of life under Israeli occupation to various UK audiences.
Last year, Abu Rahma was refused entry to participate in an Edinburgh Festival Fringe event under the claim that he had provided no financial information, despite having proven that all aspects of his trip were financed by sponsors.
For his 2016 UK tour, Abu Rahma was again denied a visa at first
Edinburgh East MP Tommy Sheppard, the SNP spokesperson on the Cabinet Office in the House of Commons who was “annoyed and outraged” at the decision, supported Abu Rahma’s original application for a visa which confirmed that the Network of Photographers for Palestine (NOPFP) would be covering all his travel and subsistence expenses.
NOPFP raised over £2500 through two online crowdfunding appeals for the visit to pay for his travel, accommodation, living expenses and his visa application.
Abu Rahma felt the key to unlocking the UK door was that “many people stood with me,”, including “people from the government
Arriving in the UK on August 1, Abu Rahma’s tour began in Edinburgh where he was greeted with Palestinian flags and supporters. He stated: “When I first saw the Palestinian flags I thought it was a protest for Palestine then I realized that these people have come to meet me at the train station.”
Abu Rahma, an outspoken critic of the occupation, held several talks across Scotland and England, with feature photos from his book, ‘Roots Run Deep’, revealing the reality of life under seige, in Palestine.
In his final exhibit in London, Abu Rahma was joined by Mahmoud Zwahre, from the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements