Forbidden Jerusalem (Mural; Aida Refugee Camp)

By Umayyah Cable

San Francisco, California, USA

Forbidden Jerusalem

ABOUT THIS PIECE: It is my hope that the continued creation of beautiful and positive images of Palestine and Palestinians will help westerners to see that this population is not solely composed of suicide bombers and fundamentalists, but that these are a people who are proud of their cultural traditions, and are struggling to maintain them along with their dignity. That these people, demonized and rejected by the world for so long, are capable and worthy of great amounts of beauty. I seek to correct the myths about Palestine and Palestinians by revealing the lives of the people who are surviving within this disputed, cherished, and ravaged geography.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Umayyah Cable was born in Cambridge, MA and raised by a single Palestinian mother at a time when it was more politically correct than not to consider Palestinians as terrorists and enemies of the United States. She attended Smith College where she chose mind over heart in her decision to major in American Studies instead of fine arts. This proved to fuel her photographic passion more so than hindering it because it armed her with the knowledge she needed in order to challenge the status quo. While at Smith she studied with Meridel Rubenstein for two years, while Rubenstein was a visiting faculty member. Upon graduating from Smith in 2005, Cable resumed her first love of photography and has been freelancing in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2006. Aside from her Palestine project, Cable’s photography mainly consists of portraiture in both color and black and white. Additionally, she will return to Palestine in late 2008 to begin a portrait catalog of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. She self defines as a queer Palestinian feminist activist and her weapon of choice is and always will be (photographic) film. In her spare time she enjoys playing the ukulele (or as she prefers, “the people’s guitar”) and riding her bicycle around the city. To view more of her work, please visit her website at

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