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NCF's Update from the Negev-Naqab


Dear friends and supporters,

We would like to thank those who could make it to the online exhibition event. Despite the technical inconveniences, we were happy to receive very positive feedback about the panelists' interventions and topics that were discussed. It was a pleasure to have such an engaged and activist audience that raised the most relevant and important questions about how to cope with Human Rights violations, Police violence and the State's negligence, enabling a dialogue about forms of arts as transformational tools in our communities; showing appreciation and value for the work our photographers are doing. 

For those who could not attend, we will be circulating the recording soon and for everyone you are welcome to access the online exhibition here 

Tomorrow Monday December 14th we will held the first mobile photography exhibition in Tel Aviv (Rothschild-Habima) with the participation of the photographers who will be arriving specially from the Naqab to Tel Aviv. Those who are in these lands, please join us!

This exhibition presents a collection of photographs taken over the past years by women from unrecognized villages in the Naqab, portraying social, political, and gender-related issues while reflecting a greater context that indigenous people worldwide must face.

Through their work, women are able to document their lives in constant struggle for recognition, human rights and dignity.


Today: launching event of “Recognized: Life and Resilience Captured by Bedouin Women”

In honor of the International Human Rights Day,
NCF together with the EU and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung invite you to our online exhibition

This exhibition presents a collection of photographs taken over the past years by women from unrecognized villages in the Naqab, portraying social, political, and gender-related issues while reflecting a greater context that indigenous people worldwide must face.

Through their work, women are able to document their lives in constant struggle for recognition, human rights and dignity.

Join us through this link
Once you enter the Zoom meeting, choose your language of preference in the bottom right corner. Following your language choice, select “mute original audio” for an ideal translation experience.
We would like to share with you a sample of our photographers' work, so you are welcome to watch the short video "Our Life" by Sabah Abu Madhi’m, from the unrecognized village of Al-ʿArāgīb


The Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF) and the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF) wish to update you on a rare victory in the Supreme Court, surrounding the Israeli Government's continuing harassment and persecution of the Bedouin people, residents of Al-‘Arāgīb.

Supreme Court Accepts Appeal of Bedouin
Human Rights Defenders

On November 17th, the Supreme Court granted the appeal of six members of the Abu Madhi’m A-Turi family of the unrecognized Bedouin village Al-‘Arāgīb, and overturned the ruling of the District Court in their case, which ordered they pay costs in the amount of ILS 1,636,767, to cover the expenses of eight demolitions of their village carried out by the state in 2010. The astronomical costs imposed were intended to cover the entire expenses of the demolitions, for which the state recruited over 1,315 police officers, a helicopter and 20 buses to transport the police forces to the village.   

Background: On August 2017, Sheikh Sayah Abu Madhi’m, his wife Fatma, his son Aziz,  and three other family members were fined by the state ILS 262,000 to cover demolition costs of their village, and an additional ILS 100,000 to cover trial costs. 28 other defendants from the village were fined ILS 11,000 each in different plea-bargains reached during the same trial. The six family members appealed this verdict to the District Court, lost and were further fined with ILS 1,636,767. HRDF-funded lawyer, Adv. Khaled Sawalhi, who represented them, submitted to the Supreme Court a motion to appeal the verdict.
On November 15th, 2020, the motion to appeal was heard by the Supreme Court. In the hearing, Adv. Sawalhi argued that this is the first time the police civilly sue civilians to cover the costs of its official and budgeted work. Therefore, he claimed, the sum should be decreased drastically to comply with principles of justice and equality. He further contended that the ruling of the District court was punitive and did not consider that ownership claims have yet to be determined by the courts. 
The State’s Attorney claimed that since the appellants, who “ridicule the rule of law”, are the dominant activists of the Bedouin struggle for land rights, they possess a “moral guilt” that should be reflected in much severe costs, and in particular Sheikh Sayah, who is the leader of the struggle.
The judges then dismissed the state’s claims regarding increased individual responsibility of the appellants due to their part in the struggle. Justice Mazuz stated that the District Court ruling creates an unjust, twisted, harsh and problematic result. He added that the court cannot ignore the feeling that an injustice had occurred, as fining six appellants with the entire sum imposed on the original 34 defendants is unreasonable and unfair. The Court offered the parties to compromise but both the state and the appellants held their reservations.
In its decision, the Supreme Court accepted the appeal and ruled that “due to the unique circumstances of the case and given the State’s obligation to conduct itself with decency and equality, even during compromise proceedings in civil lawsuits […] the appellants costs order will be decreased to 35% of the original costs of ILS 1,636,767, along with an additional subtraction of the plea-bargain costs of the remaining 28 defendants.”

We are deeply proud of Adv. Sawalhi for this rare achievement. Although the Supreme Court did not address fundamental claims concerning indigenous recognition and land rights, we believe that this ruling will act as a warning sign in future attempts by the state to impose disproportional legal charges intended to intimidate leaders in this flagship struggle for Bedouin land rights. These are only a few of many civil, criminal and administrative legal procedures executed by the State against the Abu Madhi’m family and other indigenous Bedouin activists, in an attempt to determine its ownership over lands in the Naqab and as deterrence to all human rights defenders protecting Bedouin indigenous rights.
We would like to highlight that the costs imposed on the appellants are still significantly high and injurious for the Abu Madhi’m family and its payment will entail financial sacrifices. The recognition of this rare achievement cannot outdo the harmful nature of an economic penalization ruled by the Supreme Court to indigenous land rights defenders for the demolition of their houses on their own lands.
HRDF and NCF will continue to support Bedouin defenders active in the struggle for land rights and recognition, who face ongoing legal prosecution, in particular from the village of Al-‘Arāgīb, which was demolished 180 times and faces daily oppression by the Israeli authorities.
If you have any further questions regarding these and other matters concerning the valiant struggle of the residents of Al-‘Arāgīb and the Bedouin community to continue their traditional way of life on their ancestral land, please contact NCF and HRDF’s International Advocacy Coordinators.
Elianne Kremer
Noa Amrami


Update: Criminal Proceedings Against Bedouin Human Rights Defenders Suspended

On November 8th, 2020, following a four-year legal battle, the Magistrate’s Court stayed the criminal proceedings against six members of the Abu Madhi’m A-Turi family from the unrecognized Bedouin village Al-‘Arāgīb.

The event which led to the indictment took place in July 2016, when human rights defender Sheikh Sayah Abu Madhi’m, three of his sons and two other family members were arrested while peacefully protesting in front of bulldozers that were working on the village’s lands on behalf of the Jewish National Fund. The six, one of whom was 80 years old at the time, were arrested and later released after signing release terms in which they agreed not to interfere with the construction. Nevertheless, in January 2017, they were all indicted on charges of obstruction to an officer. The indictment stated that the defendants assembled and refused to leave the place while shouting and pushing the officers, an allegation which they all denied.
All six defendants were represented by HRDF-funded lawyer, Adv. Shade Eben Bari. During the trial it became clear that the police had falsely arrested the defendants and that the indictment was unfounded. For example, Aziz Abu Madhi’m, was standing on a remote hill when an officer spotted him and ordered for his arrest for no reason. Some were arrested while sitting down and resting, and others were peacefully protesting when arrested. In addition, the indictment contradicted earlier police reports which stated that “no force whatsoever was used during the event”. Due to the substantial evidential difficulties, the court urged the prosecution to reach a plea bargain and eventually it was agreed that the indictment would be withdrawn. 
This is only one of many criminal cases concerning members of the of the Abu Madhi’m family, who are being prosecuted for their non-violent struggle for the recognition of their land rights in Al-‘Arāgīb. On September 21st, 2020, three members of the Abu Madhi’m family were sentenced to imprisonment after being convicted of three charges earlier in 2019. An appeal against the ruling was submitted to the District Court by HRDF-funded lawyer, Adv. Michal Pomeranz and the case is still pending.    
NCF will continue to support Bedouin human rights defenders active in their struggle for indigenous land rights and recognition, who face ongoing legal prosecution, and in particular those from the village of Al-‘Arāgīb, which has been demolished 179 times and faces daily oppression by the Israeli authorities.


World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

On the occasion of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage we are releasing a video documenting demolition of buildings in the Naqab during the Covid-19 crisis.

Demolition of buildings in the Naqab during Covid-19

Since March 2020, and despite the state of emergency and the government’s instruction to home confinement, authorities continued to distribute demolition orders and plow under hundreds of acres of fields in over 11 Bedouin villages, both recognized and unrecognized by the State.

Between March and October 2020, NCF continued to monitor the situation, documenting over 70 incidents in which enforcement authorities continued to distribute demolition warrants, execute demolitions, as well as interrogating livestock farmers, and issuing fines to herders, mainly for the purpose of harassment. That and more - residents of the villages informed NCF that many of the inspectors and police officers were patrolling the villages and interacting with the population without taking any required precautions to prevent people from spreading the virus. As noted above, these enforcement measures, that are effective in driving the populace to destroy their own property (self-demolitions), can and do cause extreme duress, especially during a pandemic.

You are welcome to share the video with your community and help us raise awareness about the unfair situation in the Naqab.

Bedouin rights to housing, health and dignity are crucial today as ever.
We support the residents of unrecognized villages in their constant struggle for recognition, human rights, and a life not under threat.

Our audiovisual archive tells us the stories of the Bedouins' lives, traditions and struggles.
We would like to pay tribute to our amazing archivist Nasrin Abu Kaf from the village of Umm Batīn who is the one in charge of organizating the pictures and videos from NCF's documentation projects and workshops.

NCF's archive makes up a small part of the Arab Bedouin's heritage in the Naqab, and is an affirmation of our collective memory as well as a valuable source of knowledge.


Updates from the Naqab:
 International Day of Rural Women and the Bedouin Authority

Today is the International Day of Rural Women
...and we want to introduce you to Mariam: a participant of NCF's documentation project. In this video, Mariam documents her employment means during Covid-19 in the unrecognized village of Tal ʿArād.

Women and girls are disadvantaged in this pandemic, a problem aggravated in rural areas. Rural women already face specific previous struggles in their daily lives. Now, due to COVID-19 and their unique health needs in remote areas, they are less likely to have access to quality health services, essential medicines, and vaccines. Restrictive social norms and gender stereotypes can also limit rural women’s ability to access health services. Many suffer from isolation, the spread of misinformation, and a lack of access to critical technologies to work and adjust their personal life.

The issue of unpaid care work is a common problem for Arab Bedouin women living in the unrecognized villages in the Naqab. Because of this, we need measures taken by the Government to alleviate the care burden and better redistribute it between women and men, and between families and public/commercial services.

The theme for this International Day of Rural Women by initiative of UN Women is “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19,” to create awareness of these women’s struggles, their needs, and their critical and key role in our society. At NCF we have started working on a digital literacy project and rights advocacy for women and we continue working in our photography for Human Rights project in the unrecognized villages.

In order to protect Arab Bedouin women and their wellbeing, the State needs to recognize the unrecognized villages and alleviate the unfair burden they carry every day.

Mahadiya Abu Juda - Az-Zaarura - 22.11.2018. Women documentation project

The great appetite of the Authority for the Development and Settlement of the Bedouin in the Negev (the Bedouin Authority)

by Khalil Al-amour and Haia Noach, 05.10.20 – Published in Hebrew in Haokets


The Bedouin Authority is striving to differentiate itself from the enforcement agencies, and to brand itself as an agency focused on development and settlement. It is making use of its inflated publicity budget to highlight its role in building neighborhoods and laying infrastructure, but in practice it is mainly involved in the destruction of villages and the eviction of residents. It is a key partner in the "Enforcement Forum", a forum that convenes weekly and makes decisions about enforcement policy and enforcement activities. This institutionalized body, sets priorities and guidelines for the annual destruction of up to 2,500 buildings in the Naqab.

Recently, the Chairmen of the Local Bedouin Councils and representatives of the Joint List in the Knesset have called for its dissolution.

To continue reading, please click here


Update: Court Sentences Bedouin Human Rights Defenders to Imprisonment
The Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF) and the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF) wish to update you on the highly disturbing situation surrounding the Israeli Government's continuing harassment and persecution of the Bedouin people, residents of Al-‘Arāgīb.

On September 21st, three members of the Abu Madhi’m A-Turi family of the unrecognized Bedouin village Al-‘Arāgīb, were sentenced to imprisonment by the Magistrate’s Court
after being convicted of three charges earlier in 2019: trespass with intent to commit an offense, violation of lawful direction and unlawful entry to public land. Aziz Abu Madhi’m and his brother Seif, were sentenced to six and three months in prison, respectively. Their father, Sheikh Sayah, was sentenced to three months of community service due to his age and health condition. Another family member, Salem, was sentenced to four months in prison. The four were also fined extremely high sums, ranging between ILS 12,000-30,000 each, and ILS 77,000 in total.

Sheikh Sayah and his family who are represented by HRDF-funded lawyer, Michal Pomeranz, are planning to appeal the decision. Following the ruling, Attorney Pomeranz stated: “The Court imposed upon the Abu Madhi’m family an unfounded sentence, which does not comply with the previous and likewise severe, verdict in the case of Sheikh Sayah. The Court unjustifiably sends people who are not in any way criminals to prison, and we will appeal this outrageous decision”. Adv. Pomeranz filed a motion for a stay of execution of the sentence and it was approved by the Magistrate's Court, under the condition that each of the defendants will provide ILS 5,000 guarantee within one week.    
Sheikh Sayah was previously convicted in 2017 of 19 counts of trespassing, 19 counts of unlawful entry into public land and one count of breach of law, all of which relate solely to his persistent struggle to safeguard his family’s historical rights over their land. He was sentenced to ten months in prison, five months’ probation, and ILS 36,000 fine.
These are only some of many criminal, civil and administrative legal procedures executed by the State against the Abu Madhi’m family and other indigenous Bedouin activists, in an attempt to prevent them from resisting violations of their rights, and as deterrence to all human rights defenders protecting Bedouin indigenous rights.
The criminalization of the Abu-Madhi’m family for living on their land, and the findings that this is an offence that carries prison sentences, effectively criminalizes thousands of Bedouin citizens with similar status on the land. There is a reason to believe that the Abu-Madhi’m family has been singled out for enforcement action to the full extent of the law because they have opted for a non-violent struggle for Bedouins rights in the Negev.    
HRDF and NCF will continue to support Bedouin defenders active in the struggle for land rights and recognition, who face ongoing legal prosecution, in particular from the village of
al-ʿArāgīb, which was demolished 178 times and faces daily oppression by the Israeli authorities.
If you have any further questions regarding these and other matters concerning the valiant struggle of the residents of Al-‘Arāgīb and the Bedouin community to continue their traditional way of life on their ancestral land, please contact NCF and HRDF’s International Advocacy Coordinators.

Noa Amrami - Human Rights Defenders Fund -
Elianne Kremer - NCF -


Happy Jewish New Year 

The Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality wishes all of our friends from around the world a year full of justice, social change, health and equality. NCF will continue working towards the recognition of the unrecognized villages in the Naqab and Human Rights for its residents. For the new upcoming year, we envision a more just society for all the communities and individuals in these lands.
We wish all of our partners and friends shana tova!

Support NCF's Documentation Projects: Buy our yearly calendar 
Each year, NCF produces a calendar made from the work of the children, who participate in our Winter workshops. 

This year, you can have the amazing photographic work of children from the village of Al-Lagia. The photos describe their childhood experiences, living in the open spaces of the desert, their way of life and their family traditions. The children provide us with a unique and personal point of view to life in an unrecognized neighbourhood; with no running water, no connection to electricity, no playgrounds or any other basic services. 

To purchase the calendar as a donation to NCF's documentation projects, please send an email to: or click here

Thank you for supporting Arab Bedouin women and children!

Dear supporters and friends,

We would like to thank you for your mobilization and long commitment to the Arab-Bedouin struggle in the unrecognized villages. This support allows for building a critical discourse in which pressure on the government regarding provision of services and infrastructure as well as human rights and lands rights recognition can lead to social change in the Arab Bedouin villages in the Naqab. We would not have been able to carry out our activities on the villages and in the international sphere without your help.

Thanks to you, there are women, children and Bedouin communities who learn and document their Human Rights through photography, expressing the difficulties in their daily lives; learning ways to cope with police violence through documentation, art and activism. This knowledge is amplified and empowering for Bedouin community members mainly during these difficult times; when the State continues to exercise injustice towards them. We will continue working together against the existing challenges that stem from racist and negligent policies that harm the wellbeing of Bedouin citizens in the Negev. 

Our ongoing work at the international level will continue in the forms of reports and petitions every time we identify cases of injustice, negligence, violence and Human Rights violations. Likewise, we commit to continue facilitating tools of international advocacy and freedom of expression to the residents, until the Negev becomes a fair and equal place for all residents.

You are welcome to make a donation and support the continuation of our work in the Naqab here


The Prime Minister’s apology cannot be sufficient in a distorted system of Justice

Following the Prime Minister's apology and defamation on Tuesday night (September 8, 2020), we demand Justice and support Ya’akob Abu-Al-Qi'an’s family demanding the annulment of the decision by the Police Investigation Department to close the investigation into his death at the hands of Israeli law enforcement forces; especially in light of the recently uncovered evidence that contributes to the reconstruction of the case.

More than three years have passed since Ya’akob Abu-Al-Qi'an was shot and negligently doomed to die during a Police operation in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Ḥīrān in January, 2017. The objective of the operation was to demolish houses in order to eventually evict the residents to make way for a new settlement of Israeli Jewish citizens.

An apology offers absolutely no redress for the criminal acts that led to the death of an innocent human being. We demand the establishment of a parliamentary investigation committee, as the family is asking and as we did at the time that Ya’akob was killed, and support our fellow partners in Adalah and the Committee Against Torture in their call "to open the investigation file and bring all those responsible to justice, from the police command level, through those who opened fire on Abu-Al-Qi'an, to the police officers and police medical staff who abandoned him to bleed to death."
We oppose and denounce these patterns of police violence against innocent civilians who are continuously subject to violations of their Human Rights in Umm al-Ḥīrān and other unrecognized villages, and in Israel as a whole.

It is disturbing that the State Attorney did not open an inquiry of the events in Umm al-Ḥīrān. This series of events and lack of minimal efforts to uncover the facts concerning them are the result of a racist system set against the Arab minority, and not for the first time.

It is now clear that in this case there have been serious failures in the conduct of all parties – the Prime Minister; the Minister of Public Security; the Chief Police Commissioner, who  all publicly accused Ya’akob of being a terrorist immediately after the incident; the Police Investigation Department; and the State Attorney. The Prime Minister is directly responsible for these events of ongoing incitement and for the continuation of policies that exclude minorities. The apology given Tuesday night cannot replace actions that will lead to the taking of responsibility and the implementation of justice.

We stand with and will support Ya’akob’s family and the residents of Umm al-Ḥīrān who are demanding the provision of justice, and an end to the demolition of villages in the Naqab.

We demand that the State of Israel reverse the State Attorney's decision and initiate an independent investigation into his death, considering all the evidence available and criminally indict anyone found responsible; as well as provide the victims with effective remedies.


We would like to update you on a number of issues and struggles that we have been dealing with recently. At the end of May, as we had previously informed, the JNF began to afforest the Khirbit al-Watan area. Although the plantings ceased after a public struggle, we would like to explain further the problem with tree-planting in the Naqab; what we did in the last months to help students learn remotely as a result of Covid-19; and educational projects we have on the horizon. The new Jewish year is coming up soon and we would like to take the opportunity to offer you NCF’s new calendar with photos taken by Arab Bedouin children.

We want to share with you our wishes of health and a more just society for all the Naqab's citizens,
Haia Noach and the NCF team
Get your 2020-2021 calendar and support NCF

Planting trees in the Negev as a key tool for dispossession
Even though the plantings were stopped at Khirbet al-Watan, the fight against the policy of using forestation for the purposes of dispossession continues, and the issue demands raising awareness among the general public. This policy harms the lives of the Arab-Bedouin residents as the plantings are purposely done in and around the areas in which they live - territories that are, NOT coincidently, the subject of numerous legal battles concerning land ownership. In essence, this policy is intended to confiscate the residents’ lands and / or limit the villages’ boundaries from potential expansion, without offering any alternative relief from the ever increasing population density that those villages are experiencing. Among others, this is the case in al-Lagiyyih. Simply put, this is another form of spatial exclusion and deprivation that the Arab-Bedouin society is subjected to very frequently.
To continue reading the article written by Haia Noach in this regard please click here

Photo: Rida Abu El Kihan, Umm al-Ḥīrān, 01.03.2018,  Yuṣawiruna – Photographing for Human Rights
Partnering with Ben Gurion University of the Negev: mapping the needs of Arab-Bedouin students
NCF’s field coordinators and volunteers met with Prof. Daniel Haimovich, President of Ben-Gurion University, as well as with the Rector and the Dean, in order to elucidate the difficulties experienced by Bedouin students during the Corona crisis. The purpose of the meeting was to present operative solutions to these problems.
The needs were mapped out by dozens of students, who offered creative and workable solutions. The many ideas where heard and exposed, taken seriously by the president and staff members; promising to implement them as early as the next school year begins. Likewise, a tour of the unrecognized villages has already been scheduled with them. The meeting was beneficial to both parties, but we will continue to oversee this partnership to bring about a change in the situation at the beginning of the next school year. We are also working to implement the project with other academic institutions in the Negev.

The digital literacy project is underway 

Last month, the forum's coordinators of the documentation and freedom of expression projects - Laila and Sabrin - held an initial workshop of its kind for women in unrecognized villages. The workshop is part of a series of trainings in digital literacy to learn computer and digital applications along with rights advocacy. This project is conducted in partnership with the Law Clinic of Sapir College.
The purpose of the project, which has just begun, is to enable learning the use of smartphones and computers to facilitate the processes of exercising the rights of the residents of the villages. The project stems from the mapping of needs we performed during the period Covid-19 outburst, in which many residents expressed the need to be connected to the outside world and acquire essential skills for employment and communication
This need has been exacerbated by the worldwide crisis and the shift to digital services, which most governmental ministries and academic institutions are implementing. In the Arab-Bedouin villages, where the poorest population in the country lives, there is an urgent need for a correct and useful knowledge to understand how to best exercise basic rights of health, welfare, education and employment.

Professional consultation meeting on day care centers in Arab-Bedouin society 
Together with the organizations 'Anu' and the 'Coalition for Birth Education', we organized a consultation meeting about early childhood day cares in the recognized and unrecognized Arab-Bedouin villages. The purpose of the meeting was to inform all government and community members about a report on day care center that we are about to publish shortly.
During the meeting we heard recommendations from experts and especially from members of the Arab-Bedouin community regarding ways of publicizing the day care centers to the community, possibilities of subsidizing the cost, and improving the quality of the centers. The meeting was moderated by Nabila Espanyoli (Director of NGO Al-Tophula), while all relevant parties met to develop common thinking and familiarity with the topic.
The objective of the meeting and the further mission is to enable opportunities for the training and advancement of Arab Bedouin women in their employment, in addition to facilitating the healthy development of early childhood children in the Arab Bedouin communities.
Photo: Sara Hoziel, Daycare center at Šgīb as-Salām, 26.12.2019

In the eve of every new Jewish year, we print, publish, and distribute calendars with photos from the photography project of the children from the unrecognized villages: Through a Child’s Lens
The aim of the project is to convey photography skills to children and youth across the Negev, to enable them to document their lives and immediate surroundings as well as human rights violations in their villages.
During the workshops, photographers come on a voluntary basis and teach the children a variety of photography lessons. At the end of the workshop, the cameras stay with the participants so that they can continue to photograph and document. This year we bring pictures of kids that live in an unrecognized neighborhood of the township of al-Lagiyyih.
You are welcome to support this project and purchase a calendar for you and your families here


New Report from NCF: 

The State of Israel continues to implement a policy of expulsion towards the Arab-Bedouin community in the Negev/Naqab, denying their status as citizens with equal rights. Update Data for 2019

Photo: Laila Sana. Self demolition in the unrecognized village of Az-Zarnūg. October, 2019.
Photo: Residents of the unrecognized village of az-Zarnūg's during a self demolition. October, 2019.

NCF has released a new report concerning home demolitions and other actions taken by the State of Israel with the purpose of eviction of the Arab Bedouin communities from their lands in the Naqab/Negev.

Drone based surveillance, intimidation, police violence, interrogations, lawsuits and demolitions are some of the tactics that the State of Israel has been utilizing to expel the Bedouin communities from their native lands, violating several UN international conventions relating to housing and human rights.
The report exposes the impact that this discriminatory policy has on thirty five unrecognized villages (referred to as “illegal villages”) and the detrimental life conditions of their residents who lack basic services and are underrepresented in local governmental institutions, even though they are Israeli citizens.
During 2019, approximately 2,241 structures were demolished in the Bedouin communities in the Naqab, out of which no less than 88% were performed by the owners of the structures themselves. The number of demolitions performed by the owners of the structures before the issuance of any demolition order increased to 146%. The decision of the owners to destroy their own dwellings is frequently based on past trauma and fear of violence perpetuated by the police at the time of the procedure, as well as the threat of high fines imposed on those whose houses are demolished by law enforcement forces. In eight years (since 2013), 10,969 structures have been demolished in Bedouin communities in the Naqab.


The struggle against house demolitions continues!

The relentless presence of law enforcement forces in the Bedouin villages during the last weeks has resulted in a wave of public protests - from specific protests at the village junctions, to a mass demonstration in Beer Sheva. On June 24, inspectors escorted by dozens of armed police officers, arrived in Bīr al-Hamām, demolished two houses, entered other dwellings and detained youngsters. Immediately afterwards, they continued on to the unrecognized village of Tal Arād and demolished one other house. This was just a few days after demolishing 2 houses in the nearby village of az-Zarnūg, distributing demolition orders and bringing much fear to youngsters and adults. The demolitions continue all the more forcefully while we are in the middle of a pandemic during which we are ordered by the government to be in confinement and maintain social distancing.
The government’s thuggish and violent policy is planned – and is accompanied by prolonged incitement against the Arab-Bedouin citizens in the Negev. Deliberate use of law enforcement agencies, heavy fines and intimidation are officially intended to “open a dialogue” with the Arab-Bedouin citizens, but in fact, act to dispossess them and forcibly transfer them to townships. We stand, and will continue to stand, side by side with the residents in their just struggle for recognition of their villages - in public spaces, in the media, and through use of all the legal instruments at our disposal!

Photo: Eve Tendler. Protest against house demolition. Junction of the village az-Zarnūg. 25.6.2020.

House demolition in International Law  
The basic “right to adequate housing” is recognized by the International Court and anchored in various Conventions signed by the State of Israel. When a country signs a Convention, it accepts its principles and commits to act towards its assimilation in the areas under its control. The Convention of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights has a monitoring body, similar to those of other conventions (called either Committees or Treaty Bodies), that the country commits to report  regarding the fulfillment of its obligations under the Convention.

Israel has signed seven of the main Conventions. One is the
UN Convention of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), which deals, inter alia, with the right to adequate housing, and also includes protection from forced eviction and the arbitrary demolition of homes. For housing to be defined as "adequate" housing, it must be appropriate in relation to the cultural identity of its residents.
Demolition of buildings and houses in the Bedouin communities in the Negev violates the right to adequate housing for members of the Arab-Bedouin community, according to the CESCR.

In 2019, NCF worked together with other organizations to raise consciousness in the international community, and in particular in the UN Human Rights monitoring bodies, concerning Human Rights violations occurring in the Negev. As a result, various UN committees issued strong conclusions and recommendations to the State of Israel, demanding it cease using house demolition as an instrument and recognize, as far as possible, the unrecognized villages. In addition, the State of Israel was asked to honor the Bedouin's historical connection with the Negev lands and their cultural way of life.

Photo: Unknown photographer from the village of Tal ʿArād
The demolition forces enter the village of Tal ʿArād, 24.6.2020

Demand conveyed to Academia Institutions in the Negev: 
do not let us drop out!

By the beginning of April, we sent a letter to the Council for Higher Education with a request to give urgent aid to the 2,000 Arab-Bedouin students to enable them to participate in online learning. After the government's decision to continue the academic year online, we asked to take into account the difficult situation of the students living in the unrecognized villages in the Negev, who have no connection to electricity or the Internet - a situation that puts them in danger of dropping out of their studies towards academic degrees.
The request presented examples of a number of steps that have already been taken at a number of institutions and proven successful: the provision of technological means to all Bedouin students who need it (such as routers and laptops); online training, in Arabic, in the use of equipment; technical support in case of problems and difficulties connecting to the web during the course of studies; enhancing the effort to implement distance learning; introduction of compensation plans to close gaps during the summer to prevent dropouts; and directing all departments to provide significant relief concerning the deadlines and ways of submitting assignments.
We have been in contact with various departments in the colleges and universities in the Negev, and with them, we continue to encourage further support activities and the promotion of creative ideas that will take into consideration and provide solutions to students needs during the exams, and in preparation for the next year, and continue to do so for as long as the State continues to refuse the provision of essential services needed for learning in the students' place of residence.

Students Aiding Students in the Unrecognized Villages

During the past two weeks, NCF “Communities-Mojatma'at” project and our two wonderful interns Reut and Olia from the Shatil organization and the Everett Foundation, organized a delegation of volunteers: students, activists and partners. They went to the unrecognized villages several days a week to provide supplementary lessons to schoolchildren and high school students, to help them learning for their matriculation exams. We need to remember that in these difficult times, economic, social and educational gaps are particularly detrimental - and while for high socioeconomic communities, paid private lessons may be a solution - in the unrecognized villages, the learning environment, the high cost, and the lack of infrastructure are a real obstacle for students who want to realize their basic right to education! It is up to the State of Israel to provide an appropriate solution to every Israeli student, also during the next academic year!

Photo: Reut Lau. Supplementary lessons in the unrecognized village of Tel Arād


Against the backdrop of an international protest #Blacklivesmatter – Racism in the Naqab is rising

Against the background of the global protest fighting police violence and institutionalized racism, we have witnessed racist and dangerous incitement against Arab Bedouin residents of the Naqab in recent weeks. Starting with the head of the Omer Local Council – voicing his prejudice against the Bedouin community who uses Omer’s post office; an opinion article in one of Be’er Sheva’s online newspapers calling to “Annex the Naqab”, calling all Bedouin criminals; and all the way to Samsung’s racist advertisement that portrays the Bedouin as mere “setting” for the company’s commercial. It seems that the Israeli public and officials conveniently ignore the continued incitement against the Arab Bedouin citizens, while focusing on what is happening overseas, when in fact they should be looking at their own misdoings and promote social, economic, and political justice regardless of color, religious, political or ethnic affiliation. 
A screen shot from the SAMSUNG commercial in the dead sea 

Mass distribution of demolition orders in the Negev despite the increase in the number of patients
Is the Coronavirus still here? Not from the point of view of building and planning enforcement agencies. Despite the severe economic crisis and a rise in the number of patients, dozens of demolition orders have been distributed in Bedouin villages over the past two weeks: from the village of Sahal al-Baggār/Ramat Tziporim in the south to Rahat in the north. In the unrecognized villages of az-Zaʿarūrah, Tal ʿArād, Rakhamah, and az-Zarnūg - many orders were distributed, most of them to old homes undergoing renovation or repair such as replacing the tin roof for in preparation for the extremely hot desert summer.
Under the Planning and Building Law, any minor repair or renovation to a home, even when necessary - is a cause for demolition. As of 2018, the Southern Administration has begun to coordinate planning and construction enforcement with SIMPLEX 3D Mapping technology to detect any movement or slight change in construction in the Naqab. By placing their technology on drones, the enforcement agencies are able to view in and out of the house, in what may be considered as a violation of the right to privacy.
We are currently working on our yearly demolition report which will also include information on this system - stay tuned!

Demolition of a home in the unrecognized village of Tal ʿArād. Photo provided by the villagers, 04.06.2020

A severe economic crisis in Bedouin communities 
A new report published by the Employment Service in Israel on unemployment trends in Arab society, revealed the depth of the economic crisis in the Arab Bedouin society in the Naqab: 12% of new unemployed persons are income-assurance claimants - 3.5 times more than the general population, and twice as many as Arabs in other regions. 67% of all unemployed are under 20 and therefore, not eligible for unemployment benefits according to the Israeli law (as most Jewish citizens under 20 usually serve in the Army).

Added to this is the economic collapse of the Naqab Bedouin authorities during the Coronavirus crisis- especially in light of the neglect and lack of government support, which we reported on in our previous updates. Instead of demolishing homes, distributing warrants, and investing enormous resources in enforcement - we demand that the state provide appropriate solutions and promote employment of its Arab Bedouin citizens from the Naqab!

In light of the economic situation - an emergency conference with Sidreh Association on women's rights in the Labor Market

Many Arab Bedouin women have been laid off or had their hours cut during the pandemic. But even during “normal” times, Bedouin women from the Naqab are in constant threat of having their labor rights harmed. In a unique conference we held last week in the Arab languge on Zoom and in collaboration with the Sidreh Association, Adv. Miriam Kabha (Commissioner for Equal Rights in the Workplace), Adv. Maha Shadite Sabitat (Itach-Maaki) and Adv. Bader al-Faruneh provided valuable legal advice and support to Arab Bedouin women on unemployment benefits, social allowance, working rights and more. 

Have you always wondered how it all began? What is the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality? Who is behind the organization? In the next video, Haia Noach, NCF’s CEO, explains how it all started. The video presents the story of how NCF was established 10 years ago out of a real necessity, and how it developed into a grassroots organization that deals with many issues related to the Bedouin unrecognized communities in the Naqab. Enjoy!


NCF’s COVID-19 Blog:


Bringing the voices of the unrecognized villages under lock-down

Especially now, during these difficult times, we have a special opportunity to show people how nearly 100,000 Bedouin citizens from unrecognized villages are living.
Right now, under the Corona crisis, there is a special opportunity to show people how 100,000 citizens and citizens live in the unrecognized villages.

Support NCF so we can continue our work for justice and equality

Maed al-Hawashlah, from the unrecognized village of al-Ġarrah
"We are citizens like the rest of the people in this country, every citizen has a different way of life than the other. For example, the lifestyle varies from village, to town, to city. Of course, every citizen had experienced some sort of violation of his rights, but the denial of rights is constant and systematic when it comes to the unrecognized villages. It is unequal that some get their rights, and some are deprived of their rights."

"Denial of rights is reflected in the lack of infrastructure: roads, Internet infrastructure ... The lack of these infrastructures is one of the biggest challenges we face in unrecognized villages. This is a significant reason why many students must repeat courses."

"In addition, in the absence of paved roads in the villages, you have to walk at least 30 minutes to reach the main road and from there take the bus. This type of activity can be highly dangerous, especially for children."

"We are also in danger from a health standpoint, and the age group exposed to the greatest danger is the little children who are denied almost all basic rights. But we, too, are in the middle of a crisis of rights, in addition to the Corona crisis. The situation is dire. There is no food provision in our village, or anywhere around it".

Muhammad Abu Kwider, from the unrecognized village of az-Zarnūg
We received the next video from Muhammad, a resident of the village of az-Zarnūg and a member of the village Parents Committee. Muhammad photographed his children as they take a short walk in the stream near their home. Like the rest of us, they too maintain isolation, keeping away from other people to prevent the spread of the virus in the village. But unlike in other places, children do not have computers or internet services at home, and they will not be able to continue studying online and may experience huge gaps during the coming months. Watch Muhammad's conversation with his son Amar, share, and join the call not to leave Arab-Bedouin children behind!

Given that NCF’s staff has also been quarantined for the past month (but continues to operate in almost full capacity), we asked our staff to tell in a few words how they are dealing with the new situation.

Tal Avrech, Head of International Advocacy and Research at NCF, based in Tel- Aviv

“Through the bars of my Tel-Avivian apartment, I can see my garden and right behind it, the closed kindergarten. It is nice that during this period Tel-Aviv is so quiet you can hear the birds sing, but nothing compares to the sound of silence in the Naqab desert.”

The already existing inequalities and injustices in the Naqab have been magnified through this unprecedented crisis. Under strict limitations on our freedom of movement and in compliance with the Ministry of Health guidelines, NCF continues to work closely with and for the Arab Bedouin communities in the Naqab, through all of our existing projects and more: Documentation, local and international advocacy, and research.


Ramadan Mubarak!

As we enter the holy month of Ramadan, NCF would like to wish all our Muslim partners in the Naqab and around the world Ramadan Mubarak.
Our yearly joint Arab-Jewish Iftar dinner, which is held at our cultural center each Ramadan, is always an exciting event. Given the current situation, we are unable to host the event for the first time in 15 years.

Our new reality poses a challenge, but it does offer an opportunity to mark the Ramadan with your close family members. 

Especially now, the Negev Coexistence Forum continues to promote justice and equality for all residents of the Naqab.

We wish you easy fasting and many greetings. Ramadan Kareem!

Photo: NCF staff, Iftar Dinner at the Multaka-Mifgash Cultural Center, 2018

This week, we continue to work with our partners from Bedouin villages and NGOs from the Naqab in order to expose and demand immediate professional response to the variety of barriers and difficulties that the Arab Bedouin communities are facing, especially in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NCF to the Ministry of Welfare: Provide appropriate food distribution in the Bedouin communities, especially during the month of Ramadan

On April 12, 2020, we sent a letter to Dr. Avigdor Kaplan, Director General of the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Services; demanding an appropriate food distribution in the Bedouin villages.

Civil society organizations engaged in food distribution , had recently indicated that the number of requests for food supplies had increased 4-fold in the last month, since the lock-down began. Up until now, the authorities have been distributing frozen food trays, and on a very limited scale.  

We asked that the Ministry provide a solution that is suitable to the community’s needs, especially during the month of Ramadan, which includes basic food products that are relatively inexpensive, such as flour, rice, sugar, and oil - and to ensure that ALL villages, especially the unrecognized villages, receive this service. 

Photo: Mahadiyah Abu Jūdeh, the unrecognized village of az-Zaʿarūrah

Now more than ever - Internet services for everyone!

Decades of neglect have led to Bedouin localities lacking proper internet infrastructure or cellular reception. We contacted the Ministry of Communication and demanded they provide an urgent response to the Bedouin villages and towns in the Naqab.

Internet and cellular services are especially critical these days and allow access to essential services such as: filling out forms of unemployment, online studies, working from home and even emergency response. 

We call upon the Ministry of Communication and the Internet Companies to improve access to technological infrastructure in the Bedouin localities!
Photo: Laila Alsana, NCF staff, al-Lagiyyih

Incitement against the Bedouin population in the media

"Tribal Police" is Kalman Libskind's fresh and belligerent thesis on the Bedouin society. For the residents of the Naqab, his description of the Bedouins as criminals are nothing new - for years the Israeli media has portrayed the Bedouins as outlaws.

In his recent article in Maariv online newspaper, Libskind provides a description of the situation of the population ignoring historical context, and in an environment where context is dead - everything can be said regardless of the truth. 

NCF sent its response to the newspaper and we will continue to remind them of the facts when needed: No, the Bedouins did not take-over the Naqab, they are indigenous to the area. No, the Bedouin culture is not rooted in violence. And certainly, there is no justification to incriminate an entire population in the name of racist ideology.


Bringing the voices of the unrecognized villages under lock-down

"I am a Warrior Woman!"
"In the shadow of the Coronavirus that is affecting humanity, and the struggle against the pandemic, I, as a Bedouin woman, live a fairly routine life and continue to produce many things at home. Here, we all follow the instructions, and thank God the virus did not spread in the village.”

“A Bedouin woman is used to live under harsh conditions. For her, this is the way of life, her everyday life. I am a warrior woman! Few are the things that I need to get from outside of my village, since I have planted vegetables in my little garden. Thank God, it reduces the frequency in which I leave my house and limits the chances for an encounter with a sick person.”
The already existing inequalities and injustices in the Naqab have been magnified through this unprecedented crisis. Under strict limitations on our freedom of movement and in compliance with the Ministry of Health guidelines, NCF continues to work closely with and for the Arab Bedouin communities in the Naqab, through all of our existing projects and more: Documentation, local and international advocacy, and research.


On Passover Eve and with Ramadan in nearly two weeks, we find ourselves in this strange reality under the threat of a virus that will likely change our lifestyles for now and perhaps for the future to come. In times like these, everyone is worried and afraid, but disadvantaged communities are rapidly consuming their resources and that is a source of great concern. During this crisis, it is worth mentioning that the State has a duty to protect everyone, as citizens of the state are its main resource. The state must be merciful towards its citizens, uphold their rights and act with their best interest in mind - for shelter, for education, for the health of every single one of us, not differentiating between Jews and Arabs, moving towards a  shared society. Only then can we close the gap between the various communities in the Naqab and Israel in general, which will benefit us all. This will be an act for the greater good. 
Wishing all of our supporters a happy holiday. 
Haia Noach and the NCF team

Photo: Nasrin Abu Kaf,  Umm Batīn. 17.03.2020

This week, we continue to work with our partners from Bedouin villages and NGOs from the Naqab in order to expose and demand immediate professional response to the variety of barriers and difficulties that the Arab Bedouin communities are facing, especially in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why there is no representation of the Arab Bedouin community in the Knesset Committees? 

On the 2.4.2020 and 6.4.2020, discussions were held in the Knesset Committees on response to Coronavirus in the Arab population. Although the issue of the unrecognized villages in the Naqab was raised by representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Members of Knesset, no representative from the Naqab was present during these important deliberations. Under-representation of Bedouin from the Naqab in the Knesset is nothing new - but during the emergency state we are in, this becomes an even more critical matter. Given the grave concern that the next outbreak may be in Bedouin villages, it is of utmost importance to bring Bedouin voices to the Knesset.

The challenges that arise from the field are many, and there is a need to promote Bedouin leadership and cooperation with other communities in the country in order to find solutions that express the unique situation of the people in the Naqab. Unfortunately, there is an ongoing comparison between the Orthodox Jewish and the Arab communities that is inaccurate and can impair efforts to curb the spread of the virus. What we need is a culturally and socially sensitive approach, tailored-made to each community.  
Photo: Knesset TV, The Special Committee on the Preparation of the Education System
Stop the Spread of the Coronavirus in the Naqab, before it is too late!

It takes 6 minutes to receive service in the Arabic language from Magen David Adom (Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross first aid organization) emergency service; there is only one clinic in the Bedouin villages that issues tests for the virus; and a severe lack of reliable and culturally sensitive information - These are only some of the pressing issues that were discussed at the special Knesset Sub-Committee on the Coronavirus crisis in the Arab Society. 
In cooperation with Adalah, we petitioned the High Court to demand access to essential health services for Arab Bedouin villages in the Naqab, in order to combat the spread of the Coronavirus and to provide urgent medical care.
You can read the petition in Hebrew on our website: Petition - Emergency health services
Photo: Haia Noach, Umm al-Ḥīrān, 2017
From elementary to university - Bedouin students are struggling to take part in online learning

Thousands of Bedouin students, from elementary to university, have no access to online studies and as a result, their basic right to education is being denied. Without internet or electricity services, and the absence of cellular reception in most of the Bedouin villages, there is a real danger that these students will no longer return to the school bench, and that existing gaps in education will only deepen. "In most houses, there are no computers. If the gaps continue to deepen, we may not be able to bridge them”, says Khalid Altalka, chairman of the Parent Committee in the Arab Bedouin city of Rahat.

In collaboration with Bedouin university students, NCF sent an urgent letter to the Council for Higher Education demanding a series of immediate solutions: guidance for students in need, provision of mobile modems to students with no internet access, provision of computers, and a designated program that will help Bedouin students complete their academic year. 

NCF was not the only one to demand urgent response. The Achva College also sent a request for extra funds to purchase computers and technological equipment to ensure that Bedouin students have access to online studies. NCF was delighted to hear that Sapir College is already providing assistance to Bedouin students in need, and we urge other colleges and universities in the Naqab to do the same. 

How Arab Bedouin women in unrecognized villages cope with the quarantine? 

With no shopping centers, supermarkets or a health clinic in the unrecognized villages, women are facing a harsher reality ever since the beginning of the outbreak. Maryam, resident of the unrecognized village of Tal ʿArād, is raising her own vegetables and fruits. Due to the national state of emergency, she is her family’s main food supplier. 
The already existing inequalities and injustices in the Naqab have been magnified through this unprecedented crisis. Under strict limitations on our freedom of movement and in compliance with the Ministry of Health guidelines, NCF continues to work closely with and for the Arab Bedouin communities in the Naqab, through all of our existing projects and more: Documentation, local and international advocacy, and research.


Updates from the Negev/Naqab

What is the Bedouin Authority  and why are we protesting against it? 

In the past few weeks, hundreds of people from Bīr Haddāj and other Bedouin villages, protested against the Bedouin Authority. Many toured the Negev/Naqab in solidarity, and protested the violent home demolition and dispossession policy of the State of Israel. 

So why did this protest erupt now?

Solidarity visit with the residents of Bīr Haddāj, part of NCF’s project: "Mojtma'at-Communities" – aimed at strengthening the relationship between Jewish and Bedouin residents of the Negev/Naqab. Saturday 15.2.2020, Photo: Ronen Hasson
The Bedouin Authority, or in its full name, “The Authority for the Development and Settlement of the Bedouin in the Negev” replaced the “The Administration for the Promotion of the Bedouins in the Negev”, through a Government Resolution (in 2007). The Bedouin authority aims to implement the government's policy in relation to the Bedouin population in the Negev/Naqab, and in fact replaces the government offices and constitutes the supreme authority in development affairs of the Arab-Bedouin communities.

The Bedouin Authority is trying to present itself as acting on behalf of the Bedouin community, but its reports, as well as various statements from its representatives, indicate that it is directly reorganizing the space in the Negev/Naqab by displacing the villages, removing Bedouins from their lands, and maintaining vigorous control over Arab citizens from the Negev/Naqab. 

The recent ignited protests against the Bedouin Authority and the person leading it, Yair Maayan, are justified - the Bedouin residents of the Negev/Naqab are citizens of the State, and as such they are entitled to service from the government ministries - it makes no sense that they would be subject to a separate authority designed to promote forced urbanization, displacement and fear.

To read more about the Negev and the demolition policy in the Negev, click here

To read more about the Bedouin Authority, p.24 click here
Bīr Haddāj – The village was initially designed as a rural agricultural village in the master plan, which was decided upon by the District Planning and Building Committee (22.03.2004). However, the former Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel retracted the plan for the village’s development two years ago. Now, the Bedouin Authority wants to turn Bīr Haddāj into an urban locality that will be added to the seven recognized townships, all poor communities – all ranked the lowest in the Israeli socioeconomic cluster.
NCF calls the State of Israel to make good on its promise and establish an agricultural village for the residents, one that suits their way of life and aspirations. Using violence, distributing demolition orders, and inciting against civilians will only make matters worse! 
One of the dozens of demonstrations in the Negev/Naqab these past weeks against the Bedouin Authority and the demolition policy of the State of Israel. 29.01.2020, Negev Junction. Photo: Eve Tendler
Umm al-Ḥīrān
The Bedouin Authority has previously negotiated with the people of Umm al-Ḥīrān, who under extreme duress signed  an agreement and an additional agreement, in which some people agreed to move to the township of Ḥūrah and demolish their houses in the village. During negotiations, some members of the community made allegations that the agreements signed were unequal and discriminatory.

In 2018, people of Umm al-Ḥīrān filed petitions with the High Court against the Minister of Treasure, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Head of the Bedouin Authority and the State of Israel. The State Prosecutors Office, in its answer to the petition set before the High Court, claimed that the case was moot because the detailed agreement in its' entirety should be cancelled as Yair Maayan (Head of the Bedouin Authority) who signed it, has no legal authority to deal with the distribution of land.

In the end, the State agreed to recognize the additional agreement, only under certain conditions. The Bedouin Authority noted in its response to the Court that: "There is no dispute that equal conditions must be applied to all evacuated families."

While State authorities are fighting among themselves, the residents of Umm al-Ḥīrān remain uncertain of their future once more. In a recent hearing on the matter, the High Court Judge Daphne Barak-Erez expressed "discomfort from the treatment of the sensitive issue of moving people from Umm al-Ḥīrān to Ḥūrah, in the way it emerges from the factual details of the State's response."
Rahaṭ, Compound  no. 6
In two sentences on Facebook, the Bedouin Authority announced to thousands of Rahat residents that their hopes of obtaining a home are over. The marketing of the plots in compound 6 began about three years ago and has received tremendous response from residents - thirsty for housing solutions in the crowded city. 1,500 eligible for plots in the compound received notice that the marketing of the plots is cancelled, without any explanation. 

The Kafa association and the Rahat Municipality filed a petition against the Bedouin Authority for its decision to cancel the marketing of the plots, and now 7,500 residents who will be affected by the decision are waiting for justice to be served in order to be able to build their new homes.

Our photo of the month (February), taken by Sugod from the unrecognized village of as-Sirrah. Read the story behind the image on NCF’s Facebook page

This photo was produced with the financial support of the European Union.Its content is the sole responsibility of NCF and do not necessarily represent the views of the European Union