Ylenia Gostoli

Multimedia journalist and editor

United Kingdom

I'm a reporter, producer and editor. In the past six years, I have covered social change, conflict and rights in ten countries across the Middle East and Europe while based out of London, Rome and the West Bank.

2014 Anna Lindh Mediterranean Journalist Award finalist and SOAS alumna.

I now have a new portfolio website: https://www.yleniagostoli.com/



Coronavirus: Filipino front-line workers pay ultimate price in UK

London, United Kingdom - Leilani Medel was 23 when she left her hometown near the northern city of Santiago in the Philippines for the United Kingdom. The only girl of three siblings, she was the first in her family of farmers to receive higher education.

Coronavirus exposes UK low-wage essential workers to exploitation

London, United Kingdom - Landmark structures in London are virtually lifeless now that coronavirus-induced stay-at-home orders keep all but the most essential workers from making their way to office buildings. To do so means risking exposure to a virus that has already infected more than 171,000 people and killed roughly 27,000 in the United Kingdom.

Six inmates die as prison riots over coronavirus rules grip Italy

Measures imposed in Italy's jails to contain the country's coronavirus outbreak, the worst outside China, have ignited tensions among inmates across the country. By Monday, protests had been reported at 27 different sites across the country, and six people had been pronounced dead after clashes on Sunday at the Saint Anna penitentiary in Modena, in one of the so-called "red zones" under quarantine in Italy.

Most medical staff say UK gov't failing to protect them: Poll

London, United Kingdom - Most healthcare workers in the United Kingdom believe the government has failed to protect them amid the coronavirus pandemic, a poll has found. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and YouGov surveyed 996 healthcare professionals across the country from April 2 to April 7, including doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals.

As Brexit nears, EU workers fortify UK's coronavirus front lines

London, United Kingdom - Thousands of EU migrants are working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom, as doctors, nurses, carers, porters and cleaners. Others are still out every day, repairing water boilers, stocking supermarket shelves, driving London's buses.


Italian Bangladeshis in UK: Ethnic minority fears Brexit impact

London, United Kingdom - Prince Coffee and Sweets on Romford Road in East London caters mainly to Italian Bangladeshis who have settled in the area over the past 10 years. There is an authentic Italian coffee machine behind the counter and pictures of cappuccinos, pizza and South Asian sweets on the windows.

LGBT Poles are the latest victims of nation's 'identity crisis'

Warsaw, Poland - Last month, in the central Polish city of Plock, artist and activist Elzbieta Podlesna put up posters of the Virgin Mary against a rainbow-coloured halo, symbolising the LGBT flag. Featuring the Black Madonna - a venerated painting housed at the Jasna Gora monastery in Czestochowa - Poland's interior minister Joachim Brudzinski called the images "cultural barbarism".

The Romanian Roma couple in Italy contesting key local elections

Bari, Italy - Afterannouncing they were running for office in local municipality elections in Bari, the city they have lived in for 20 years, Ligia and Daniel Tomescu were showered with hostile comments on social media. Attacks that have intensified in the lead-up to the European elections.

On Irish border, anger at Westminster and fears of fresh violence

County Armagh, Northern Ireland - The neglected carcass of an old customs building on the outskirts of the town of Newry, in an industrial area 20 minutes from the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, is covered in graffiti.

'Salvini law' could make thousands of refugees homeless

Rome, Italy - "There are always some who are left behind," says the 18-year-old, sat on a sofa in his temporary new home in a northern suburb of Rome. "But I decided not to talk about it, I prefer looking ahead." A "migration and security" decree, which came into force on October 5 and was written into law by the Italian parliament last month, plunges Soumayla's future - and that of thousands of other young people like him - into uncertainty.

Why Italy needs an ethical tomato sauce

The sight of the vast slums of the Apulia region of southern Italy, where agricultural workers live in corrugated iron and wood shacks, didn't fail to strike a young Yvan Sagnet when he first set foot there. That was back in 2011, when he was a 26-year-old student at the Polytechnic University of Turin, looking to make some money to pay his fees.

Italy's ghost towns lie in rubble 2 years after quake

Visso, Italy - A pair of socks and a shirt on a drying line stretched across a window may seem like a sign of life amid the silence that still envelops the old town of Visso, two years after a 6.5 earthquake hit the town. But the laundry is a sign that nothing here has changed much since the night when Visso's residents — officially 1,200 — were loaded onto buses and taken to hotels and bed-and-breakfasts on the coast.

A traditional Nigerian leader took on traffickers. Has it helped?

When the Oba of Benin warned traffickers against using voodoo curses to control women, it brought some temporary relief. But women who wished to quit still had no alternatives. A group of formerly trafficked Nigerian women living in Palermo try to prevent victims from returning to the streets.

Migrants put mafia mobsters behind bars in Palermo

There was a time when the door to Ruben's store had to stay permanently shut, even during opening hours. Originally from Bangladesh, in 2002 he opened a money-wiring store on Maqueda street, one of the main arteries in Palermo's city's historic center and one of its most diverse.

Start-up aims to reshape aid structure for Palestine

Ramallah, occupied West Bank - In a light-filled office in Ramallah's first technology park, a group of sleep-deprived youth in their mid-20s are discussing the next steps to promote and develop their newly launched start-up. BuildPalestine is a crowdfunding platform that aims to reshape the relationship between donors and the Palestinian cause by connecting supporters from around the world with local grassroots initiatives.

Gaza's starman aims to fight occupation with science

Gaza City - Living in what has been called the world's largest open-air prison did not deter astrophysicist Suleiman Baraka from turning his gaze to the cosmos. "Astronomy is the science of everything.

Aljazeera Magazine
Gaza's female fixers

Gaza City - When Ameera Ahmad Harouda began working as a fixer in Gaza in 2005, she was the first woman in a man's world. Since then, an increasing number of women have entered the profession, by choice or necessity, or some degree of both. They are young, English-speaking, educated, ambitious – in a society where one fifth of the population has a higher education qualification, but youth unemployment has reached 60 percent, and women remain less likely to find work after university.

Gaza headed for 'environmental catastrophe'

Gaza City - Water may be a highly valued commodity the world over - but in al-Shati refugee camp north of Gaza City, it is like gold. Along this small stretch of the Mediterranean coast, all it takes to work that out is turning on a tap: When it is there at all, the water is salty, or sometimes cloudy.

Aljazeera America
Bitter harvest: Israeli bombs sowed grief for Gaza farmers

Gaza - But the fighting resumed. When he returned to his land during a second cease-fire, he was greeted by a grim sight. “I didn’t find anything,” he said, pointing at the remains of a stone well. “The land, the fruit trees, the water well — everything was gone, even under the ground.” “At least my home is damaged but still standing,” he said. “Beit Hanoun looks as if a dinosaur passed stumbling by.”

Oz: Israel's prison for Palestinian children

East Jerusalem - Since the beginning of October, hundreds of young men from Jerusalem have spent the night in Oz - not the magical fairy-tale land, but a police station in Jabal al-Mukaber. Like the rest of occupied East Jerusalem, the neighbourhood is mired in neglect and has become a scene of regular clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli security forces.

Beach gives hope to Gaza's drowning economy

Beit Lahia, Gaza Strip - Yaser Arafat al-Masri's new falafel shop is a simple affair. His fryer is made out of a gutted washing machine, and his salad counter is a simple table he built with recycled wood covered in foil.

Aegean island refugees fear Greek government aid takeover

Chios, Greece - An already overstretched and poorly functioning reception system for asylum seekers stranded on the Greek islands is at risk as many of the NGOs providing health, legal, and other services prepare to pull out or have already left.

Europe Is Failing Refugees From Syria

London, United Kingdom - The stories of two Syrian refugees who try and fail to reach and settle in the UK shed light on the financial and human cost of Europe's refugee policy. Nominated for the Anna Lindh / Reuters Mediterranean Journalist Award, online category.


Has austerity contributed to UK's ethnic gender pay gap?

London, United Kingdom - November 14 marks this year's Equal Pay Day in the United Kingdom, the day women collectively start "working for free", relative to men. Last year, it fell on November 10, prompting women's campaign groups to point out that, at this rate, it will take decades before women reach full equality in the workplace.

Extinction Rebellion: Climate protest brings London to standstill

London, United Kingdom - Hundreds of climate protesters have blocked roads in central London to launch a two-week protest as thousands of activists are expected to descend on the British capital aiming to occupy key sites around government departments and the Houses of Parliament.

Divisions among leaders as EU's 'Game of Thrones' begins

Brussels, Belgium - First it was the votes, and now it's the Game of Thrones. As the dust settles on the result of last week's European Parliament elections held across the European Union' s 28 countries last week, alliance-building discussions have begun in Brussels for the appointment of the bloc's tops jobs.

Brexit Britain set to wield little influence in new-look Europe

After a meeting of the European Union's 28 leaders in Brussels earlier this week, European Council President Donald Tusk said London, United Kingdom - Brexit had been "a vaccine against anti-EU propaganda and fake news" - essentially serving as a prime example of how bad leaving the European Union could be.

Where do the elections leave Europe's nationalists?

Brussels, Belgium - It had been portrayed as a day of reckoning between pro-European and anti-European forces - between those who want greater integration, and those who want to retreat into their nation states.

EU elections produce fragmented parliament amid high turnout

Brussels, Belgium - People across the European Union have cast their ballots on the last day of voting for the European Parliament elections, with early indications suggesting that the bloc's only directly-elected body is shaping up to be more fragmented.

European elections could reveal popularity and chaos of populists

London, United Kingdom - In September 2016, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, before the European Parliament and declared that the European Union was "facing an existential crisis" in a gloomy address to parliamentarians as they returned to work.

What the 'pursuit of Assange' means for press freedom

London, United Kingdom - Journalists, lawyers, activists and academics have warned that the arrest of Julian Assange could have grave consequences for press freedom if it results in the media's ability to expose government wrongdoings being limited.

MPs to vote on May's Brexit deal in second meaningful vote

London, United Kingdom - British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to bring her Brexit deal back to Parliament on Tuesday for a second meaningful vote. The last time May put the deal to Parliament on January 16. It suffered a major defeat as 432 MPs voted against it and just 202 supported her plan.

Prominent think-tank says no-deal Brexit may not be catastrophic

London, United Kingdom - As the clock ticks down on the United Kingdom's pending divorce from the European Union, an influential British think-tank said on Wednesday that it was possible for Britain to avoid a recession should it crash out of Europe without a deal in place.

IN PICTURES: Thousands of Italians, migrants rally for accused 'refugee mayor'

Riace, Italy - An estimated 6,000 people protested in Riace, a small village perched on top of a barren hill in the southern Italian region of Calabria, against the arrest of its mayor Domenico Lucano. Known as the "refugee mayor", he stands accused of aiding and abetting undocumented migration.

Thousands march in Rome to protest against 'climate of hatred'

Rome, Italy - At least 20,000 people have marched in Rome to express their opposition to Italy's populist government which, they argued, has been fuelling a "growing climate of hatred" since coming to power five months ago. The demonstration on Saturday was organised by left-wing, anti-racism and anti-fascist groups, largely orphans of any mainstream political representation.

Italian government adopts hardline anti-migrant decree

Rome, Italy - Italy's council of ministers adopted on Monday a decree to regulate the government's much-touted crackdown on migration. Dubbed the "Salvini decree" after Matteo Salvini, the country's far-right interior minister who drafted it, the document is an emergency instrument that parliament must convert into law within 60 days, but can also be extended.

Will populists put Italy on collision course with Europe?

Rome, Italy - Italy's post-election rollercoaster found a resolution on Thursday evening, 88 days after voters went to the polls, with the announcement of a new government led by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the anti-migrant League.

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Ylenia Gostoli

Click here to see my latest UK-based work for Al Jazeera English

Uncertain future for refugees after Italy shuts asylum centre

The eviction of refugees from Italy's second-largest centre for asylum seekers has continued for a second day amid protests from locals and opposition politicians over the way the transfers are being carried out. The reception centre is located in Castelnuovo di Porto, a town near Rome, and the vast majority of the 540 people there are asylum seekers, including women and children.

Italian feminist activists take on the government

Centro Donna LISA is a simple apartment in a nondescript block in Rome's northern periphery, a part of the city far from the glamour visitors usually get to see. Tania La Tella climbs the steps of the metal fire escape, complaining that the block's other residents don't let the center use the main entrance.

Could the EU's battle with Italy over its budget spark a crisis?

Rome, Italy - The European Commission has taken the first steps to fining Italy over its national budget, saying it deviates from the EU's fiscal rules and commitments made by the previous government. The move comes as Italy, which received a European Commission request to adjust its 2019 budget to meet EU parameters, refuses to make any substantial changes.

As Rome camp eviction makes refugees homeless, Salvini celebrates

Rome - An informal refugee camp in Rome which opened at the height of the crisis in 2015 was evacuated on Tuesday, sending several vulnerable people onto the streets as winter sets in. Located in an empty parking lot near one of Rome's main train stations, the Baobab camp would normally host around 300 people, mostly transiting for a few days or months.

German refugee NGO plane looks for the living and the dead

The four-seat search and rescue aircraft, Moonbird, veers sharply towards a cargo vessel in international waters south of the Italian island of Lampedusa. Neeske Beckmann, the 29-year-old flight coordinator, snaps pictures from the air and scans the sea as the plane circles over it. There appears to be no one on the deck.

Italy's pro-refugee mayor arrested

The mayor of an Italian town known around the world as a model of integration has been put under house arrest for 'aiding illegal migration'. Domenico Lucano, who has been the mayor of the southern Italian town of Riace since 2004, is also accused of unlawful conduct in assigning contracts for rubbish collection services.

Italy's Muslims uneasy after election of far-right government

Rome, Italy - On Friday after midday, on a tree-lined residential street in southeastern Rome, people speak an assortment of languages and dialects, from north African Arabic to the local Roman slang. The bottom floor of a peeling post-war building hosts a "prayer home".

Refugees in Italy get their hands dirty with own farm

Oleggio, Italy - Every morning Dembo Cisse, a sturdily built 21-year-old from Guinea, waits for the car to pick him up. He and two others, who live together in an apartment that belongs to Italy's privatized migrant reception system, get in the vehicle.

Italian government adopts hardline anti-migrant decree

Rome, Italy - Italy's council of ministers adopted on Monday a decree to regulate the government's much-touted crackdown on migration. Dubbed the "Salvini decree" after Matteo Salvini, the country's far-right interior minister who drafted it, the document is an emergency instrument that parliament must convert into law within 60 days, but can also be extended.

Italy: Migrants protest expulsion from refugee centres in Naples

Naples, Italy - Dozens of migrants and refugees protested on Tuesday against a decision that will see them lose their right to live in migrant reception centres, leaving them homeless and jeopardising their asylum applications. The local government issued notices to asylum seekers living in four migrant centres, announcing its intention to expel them because they were absent when police performed checks on August 13.

Odyssey for refugees stuck on Italy ship goes on as EU talks fail

For the scores of refugees and migrants on board an Italian coastguard ship, the odyssey of their journey to Europe continues - despite reaching destination. Nine days ago, the Diciotti rescued dinghies in distress off the Maltese coast in the Mediterranean.

Could the Genoa bridge collapse have been prevented?

Rome, Italy - As the search for survivors in Genoa continues, questions are being raised about whether the collapse of the Morandi bridge - one of the main arteries into the city - could have been prevented. On August 14, at around 12pm local time (10:00 GMT), the central section of the bridge gave way as Italy experienced a gust of bad weather.

9 shootings in 50 days: Italy's ugly face of racism | DW | 16.08.2018

The shot fired from an air gun that disrupted the tranquility of a tree-lined provincial road in the central Italian city of Forlì in early July was met with disbelief by those who initially didn't pick up on it - not everyone in the city pays much attention to local events.

TRT magazine
Historical Women's Home in Italy at risk of closure

ROME - At the end of a long corridor in a labyrinthine 17th century building in the heart of Rome, archivist Giovanna Olivieri is sorting through letters and documents, most of them handwritten and belonging to a certain Laura.

Hundreds of Roma forcibly evicted from camp in Rome

Despite a by the European Court of Human Rights to halt the evacuation of a Roma camp in northern Rome, Italian police and municipal authorities evicted its roughly 300 residents on Thursday. The operation at Camping River started in the early morning and deployed a large police contingent, continuing throughout the day.

Will populists put Italy on collision course with Europe?

Rome, Italy - Italy's post-election rollercoaster found a resolution on Thursday evening, 88 days after voters went to the polls, with the announcement of a new government led by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the anti-migrant League.

TRT magazine
How Italian populists plan to govern their country

The coalition of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and anti-migrant the League has been high on hostile rhetoric, but it remains to be seen whether it translates into reality.

Refugees hoping to reach France find solidarity in the Alps

Claviere, Susa Valley - As tourists begin making their way back to their chalets after a day out skiing in the Italian resort town of Claviere, migrants and refugees hoping to cross into France descend from buses. The town is home to just 200 people and located two kilometres from the French-Italian border deep inside the Alps.

NGOs warn of intimidation as Italy seizes migrant rescue ship

Rome, Italy - Human rights groups have warned of a campaign of intimidation after Italian authorities seized a Spanish rescue ship and threatened criminal charges against some of its crew members who refused to hand over rescued refugees and migrants to the Libyan coastguard.

Italy to temporarily close Lampedusa 'hotspot' refugee centre

Rome, Italy - Italy's Ministry of Interior decided this week to temporarily close a refugee detention centre, known as a "hotspot" in Lampedusa, a Mediterranean island between Sicily and Tunisia. The decision follows protests and a fire that took place at the centre on March 8.

Protests and questions over killing of Senegal migrant Idy Diene

Rome, Italy - As Italians woke up to election results on Monday, 54-year-old Idy Diene left his home in the town of Pontedera and headed into Florence. The 54-year-old migrated to Italy from Senegal 20 years ago, and eked out a living by selling accessories to passersby and tourists.

Palestinians fight Facebook, YouTube censorship

Ramallah, occupied West Bank - Amid an ever-shrinking space for dissenting Palestinian voices, a new initiative sets out to recover some of the ground lost online. Sada Social, a group launched in September by three Palestinian journalists, aims to document "violations against Palestinian content" on social networks such as Facebook and YouTube, and to liaise with its executives to restore some of the pages and accounts that have been shut down.

TRT magazine
'In the end they want you to leave'

TEL AVIV - Some refugees in Israel have been faced with a choice: prison or deportation. But whole community has been living in a permanent state of uncertainty for years.

No prospects for justice a year after killing of Palestinian teacher in Umm al-Hiran

A year after the death of Yaakub Abu al-Qian, an internal police investigation has ended with a recommendation that no charges be filed against the officers involved in his shooting, according to Israeli media reports. On January 18, 2017, preparations for a large-scale home demolition in Umm al-Hiran, an "unrecognised" Negev village, ended with two fatalities.

Tamimi detention decision delayed by military court

The 16-year-old will remain in custody until her next court date, a judge ruled on Monday. A military judge has postponed a decision on whether to remand 16-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi to custody until the end of her trial or release her on bail.

The Waste Bank: How Israeli waste ends up dumped in the occupied Palestinian territories

In-depth: While Israel is increasing the amount of waste it produces and recycles, it is doing so at the expense of Palestinians, according to a new report. Driving through the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley, in the eastern occupied West Bank, lush agricultural fields dot an otherwise arid landscape - visual evidence of the region's unequal water supply distribution.

Erdogan′s Turkey: Eroding Ataturk's legacy

On 18 October, the Turkish parliament approved a controversial bill that in future will allow Islamic muftis to register weddings. Critics fear that this will erode the civil rights of women and expose more girls to the dangers of underage marriage. Ylenia Gostoli reports from Turkey

Human rights workers in 'Istanbul 11' case released on bail

The decision came just before midnight on Wednesday at the end of a gruelling 12-hour hearing, in a case that involves a total of eleven accused - including the chair and the director of Amnesty International Turkey, as well as a Swedish and a German national - in one of the most high-profile trials since the coup attempt in July last year.

Israel's relentless war on EU humanitarian aid to Palestine

JUBBET ADH DHIB, West Bank - In Jubbet adh Dhib, a small Palestinian village perched atop a steep hill south of Bethlehem, women say it's them who call the shots. Founded about two years ago, the 22-member women's association stepped in to improve living conditions for the underserviced village with 162 residents; most of the men work in Israel as day labourers.

Issa Amro and Palestine's struggle for freedom of speech

Amro had been in PA custody since September 4, when he'd turned himself in to the Palestinian security forces after being summoned for interrogation. In the incriminating post, he had criticised the PA for arresting Ayman Qawasmeh, a local radio journalist whose station had been shut down in an Israeli army raid a few days earlier.

Their last resort: refugees in Greece go on hunger strike

A day after receiving news that his brother and two fellow asylum seekers had begun a hunger strike in the Moria detention center on the Greek island of Lesbos, Arash Hampay started his protest. He went down to the port of Mytilene, one the biggest cities on the island and settled in the main square, holding a cardboard sign that read "refugees are not criminals."

Atharna | Olive Wood Carving in Bethlehem

Bethlehem and the nearby villages of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour are the heart of Palestine's olive wood carving industry today. Over 120 workshops and factories exist in this area, mostly small family-run businesses. The products are sold to tourists and pilgrims who pass through Bethlehem and include not only religious artifacts but also ornamental boxes, earrings and other souvenirs.

Middle East peace process: Playing the Trump card?

Fond of boasting about his deal-making capabilities, U.S. president Donald Trump has oozed confidence in the run-up to his visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories. Whether he will prove a mediating or an alienating influence remains to be seen. By Ylenia Gostoli

How Israel is targeting Palestinian institutions

Jerusalem - When Israeli police showed up at the maps and survey department of the Arab Studies Society's office in Jerusalem last month, director Khalil Tufakji was surprised to receive a six-month shutdown order. Police proceeded to confiscate computers and the main server, along with posters and maps that had hung on the walls.

How Israel denies rights to Palestinian prisoners

In a photograph widely shared on social media this month, Kifah Quzmar, a final-year business student at Birzeit University near Ramallah, wears a red-and-white keffiyeh and a somewhat defiant look. The difference between the 28-year-old and tens of other Palestinian students and youth arrested in recent weeks is perhaps that his story made it out to the rest of the world.

Israel-Europe gas deal sparks criticism

Ramallah - An Israel-Europe gas pipeline deal aimed at turning Israel into a major energy exporter in the Mediterranean has come under criticism from Palestinians, particularly as the besieged Gaza Strip continues to suffer from a crippling power crisis.

Palestinians bury activist Basel al-Araj

Hundreds of Palestinians have paid their respects to slain activist and youth movement leader Basil al-Araj. A funeral procession that started from his family home in al-Walaja, a village near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, went on till well into the evening on Friday.

Jabal Mukaber faces Israel's collective punishment

Jabal Mukaber, Occupied East Jerusalem - From the terrace of her home in Jabal Mukaber, a neighbourhood perched on the steep hills of occupied East Jerusalem, Manwa al-Qanbar looks over the checkpoint dividing it from a-Sheikh Saad, where part of her family still lives.

Palestinians decry West Bank industrial zone expansion

Salfit, occupied West Bank - Standing by the side of a highway near the main gates to Ariel West, an Israeli industrial zone in the heart of the West Bank district of Salfit, Jamal Omar Fazaa makes a sweeping gesture with his hand. "This is my family's land, exactly 186 dunums [18 hectares]," he tells Al Jazeera.

Israel slammed over its 'war on NGOs'

Jerusalem - Last August, Pam Bailey, an American citizen and secretary of the Gaza-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, was denied entry to Israel upon arrival at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport. Israeli authorities detained her for 11 hours, while the airline retained her passport until she landed back on US soil.

'Bad Palestinians' under Israel's collective punishment

Bani Naim, Hebron - In mid-August, Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's defence minister, announced that Israel's policy towards Palestinians in the occupied West Bank would include "colour-coding" its communities into "good" and "bad". "We will implement a differential policy," said Lieberman, who belongs to the far-right, nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel our Home) party.

Israeli museum transfer sets 'dangerous precedent'

Occupied East Jerusalem - At the entrance to the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, an old floor plan maps out the rooms that make up its collection. Artefacts from various historical periods were brought here during the British Mandate, with the museum founded in 1930.

The day I met my father in an Israeli jail

Al-Eizariya, occupied West Bank - This summer, 18-year-old Yara al-Sharabati was allowed to be in the same room as her father, who is serving a life sentence in an Israeli prison, for the first time in 12 years. She was finally allowed to hug him.

Rawabi - the West Bank's first planned city (photo essay)

Rawabi (″the hills″ in Arabic) - vision of Nablus-born entrepreneur and billionaire Bashar al-Masri - is the first planned Palestinian city and the largest private sector project in Palestinian history. Mockingly referred to by some as ″the first Palestinian settlement", Rawabi is not without its critics, who argue it merely serves to sugarcoat the Israeli occupation.

Reviving the art of cinema in Gaza City

Gaza City - The hall of the Red Crescent Society building in Gaza City quickly filled up. Groups of young people sat together in rows, their loud chatter subsiding as the lights dimmed and the screen lit up with the opening scenes of Leila's Birthday, a 2008 film by Gaza-born director Rashid Masharawi.

PalFest 2016: Interview with Palestinian poet Jehan Bseiso: Breaking the cultural siege on...

From 21 - 26 May, the Palestine Festival of Literature toured cities in the West Bank and Israel. In attendance was Jehan Bseiso, a young Palestinian poet. With two anthologies to her name and online publications with ″Electronic Intifada″ and ″The Palestine Chronicle″, Jehan is currently working on a poetry collection called ″Conversations Continued″ - a compilation of real, misheard and misremembered conversations.

The vulnerability of Palestinian women in Israel

Jaffa, Israel - "I think twice before going out to Tel Aviv. I calculate how long the trip is, how long it will take, what the route is," said Sawsan Kurdi, a 53-year-old mother of six from Jaffa. "We're talking about traditional women with a headscarf," she added.

Breaking the Silence: The ″turncoat″ sons of Israel

Founded 11 years ago, Breaking the Silence has collected and published over 1,100 mostly anonymous testimonies from IDF (Israel Defence Forces) veterans that document army violations against Palestinians. Earlier this month, an Israeli court heard a petition filed by the state attorney to force the organisation to reveal the identity of some of the testifiers.

Jordan and the Syrian refugees: Across a great divide

In mid-2013, Jordan stopped letting Syrian refugees freely through its borders and shut all but two of the 45 informal crossings. The current policy of only permitting the war-wounded to enter the country, while in itself commendable, is separating families and leaving people with disabilities and in need of constant care to fend for themselves in Jordan.

Remembering Jaffa

Each year on 15 May, Palestinians across the world commemorate the Nakba, or ″catastrophe″: the 1948 displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians following Israel′s declaration of independence. In 2011, the Knesset passed a law that authorises the Finance Minister to reduce or withdraw state funding from organisations that reject Israel′s existence as a Jewish and democratic state, or that remember Israel′s Independence Day as a day of mourning.

How Israel forces more Palestinians out of Jerusalem

Jerusalem - Tucked away on a steep, potholed street in Sur Baher, a suburb in the southeastern hills of Jerusalem, Sarah Ali Dwayat's apartment sits empty. On the front porch, a large banner bears the photographs of five teenagers from the neighbourhood currently imprisoned by Israel. One of them is her 19-year-old son, Abed.

What′s next for ″cultural resistance″?

Based in the Jenin refugee camp, the Freedom Theatre is one of the best-known Palestinian cultural institutions, particularly abroad. The festival opened on 4 April with a silent march to protest the unsolved murder of Juliano Mer Khamis, one of the theatre′s co-founders, who was assassinated exactly five years ago.

Israel 'closing in' on Palestinian village in Galilee

Ramya, Galilee - Abu Nazeeh's home is a simple, one-floor, wood-covered structure with a corrugated iron roof. Amid the surrounding luxury apartment blocks built of pink-hued stone, it feels impermanent. Inside, however, the overstuffed couches and kitschy knick-knacks conjure feelings of stability - as does Abu Nazeeh's resolution to make this a home, despite the continuing threat of eviction.

The paradox of being an Arab member of Israel's Knesset

Last week, three members of the Israeli Knesset, Jamal Zahalka, Hanin Zoabi and Basel Ghattas, were suspended for attending a meeting with the families of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces while allegedly carrying out attacks and whose bodies were held by Israel.

Q&A: Jailed Palestinian man to be 'either free or dead'

Dura, occupied West Bank - Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq has been on hunger strike for more than two months to protest his detention without charge or trial. Qiq, a reporter for the Saudi-owned TV channel Almajd and a father of two, is one of 660 Palestinians being held in administrative detention - the highest number since 2008, according to data released in December.

Palestinian teen could face 'maximum sentence'

Occupied West Bank - The trial of Ahmed Manasra, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, charged by an Israeli court with two counts of attempted murder, is expected to resume today in a Jerusalem court. Manasra could face the maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, his lawyers said.

How settlement businesses sustain Israeli occupation

Companies doing business in Israeli settlements contribute to and profit from land confiscations and the violation of Palestinian workers' rights - and support the settlements which are illegal under international law, according to a Human Rights Watch report. The report, published on Tuesday by the rights group, is titled Occupation, Inc: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel's Violations of Palestinian Rights.

Palestinians unite to help victims of home demolitions

Shuafat refugee camp, occupied East Jerusalem - More than 1,000 Israeli troops entered Shuafat refugee camp in the occupied West Bank earlier this month to demolish the family home of Ibrahim al-Akkari, who was shot dead by Israeli forces after ramming his car into a group of people in Jerusalem last year, killing a soldier and a civilian and wounding 13 others.

Palestinian Campus: 'A wall of fear has come down'

Abu Dis, occupied West Bank - Debris and broken glass were strewn across the al-Quds University campus in Abu Dis on a recent afternoon, evidence of one of many recent incursions by Israeli forces since October. Nearby, a group of students carrying Palestinian flags marched off campus towards Israel's separation wall.

Hebron in turmoil as unrest engulfs West Bank

Hebron, Occupied West Bank - Fayez Janjoun's cart at a fruit and vegetable market near Hebron's Old City was still full of his peppers and cucumbers - even though it was already well into the afternoon.

Youth reject ″sectarian″ recruitment to the Israeli army

Conscientious objection among the Druze community is gathering support, particularly among the young men who are expected to serve in the Israeli army. One organisation that seeks to support those fighting the call to join up is ″Urfod″ or ″Refuse: your people will protect you".

Final curtain looms for historic Palestinian theatre

Occupied East Jerusalem - The future of the Palestinian National Theatre is fraught with uncertainty as the organisation struggles with declining audiences and high operating costs. Located in the American Colony neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, the theatre - also known as el-Hakawati, meaning "storyteller" - has amassed a debt of more than $150,000, according to director Amer Khalil.

Olive harvest in Palestine 'was very happy time'

Turmusaya, Occupied West Bank - The olive harvest season is in full swing across the West Bank. For Najla Nassan and her six brothers and sisters, it is an occasion to be together. They chat and joke as they comb the olives on to plastic sheets placed on the ground.

Remembering Yitzhak Rabin

Tens of thousands of Israelis have gathered in Tel Aviv to commemorate the late Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by an ultranationalist Israeli 20 years ago. "Two decades have gone by, and still we remain overly focused on the wounds of the past, and not enough on building the future," Israeli President Reuven Rivlin addressed the crowd.

Waiting for Holot

At the end of last month, 1,200 asylum seekers were released from Holot, an ′open′ detention centre in the middle of the Naqab (Negev) desert, which began operating in December 2013. But thousands of others are now eligible to be summoned to the facility, under new and expanded criteria.

Neighbours gather to protest West Bank eviction order

Silwan, occupied East Jerusalem - For days, neighbours, friends and family have been gathering at the home of Abdullah Abu Nab in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan, hoping to stop his family's looming eviction. A recent ruling from Israel's Supreme Court gave Abu Nab's family - comprised of 16 people living in two separate homes - until August 11 to leave.

Future unclear for Palestinian hunger striker

Ashkelon, Israel - At the Barzilai Medical Center in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, Maazouzeh Allaan's eyes filled with tears as she watched a video of a recent demonstration in support of her hunger-striking son. "Detention robbed him of everything - his home, his work, his clients, his freedom," Maazouzeh told Al Jazeera.

Squeezed between occupation and civil war

The Golan Heights were unilaterally annexed by Israel in 1981. At the time, many Syrian residents fled. Most of those who remained belong to the Druze community.

West Bank village anxiously awaits demolition

Khirbet Susiya, occupied West Bank - As Palestinians in the West Bank celebrated the Eid al-Fitr holiday, the end of Ramadan was marred for residents of Khirbet Susiya by fears that demolition orders would be carried out on their homes.

For Druze in the Golan Heights, 'Syria is just an idea'

Until recently, residents of Druze villages in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights had maintained close economic, familial and emotional ties to Syria. But the civil war raging in Syria has broken or altered these relationships. "Syria is an idea for us, not life.

Teen's death highlights Israel abuse of West Bank youth

Occupied West Bank - In the living room of the al-Kasba family home, a large commemorative poster occupies an entire wall, depicting the portraits of two boys against a faded background of Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque. It says that Yasser and Samer al-Kasba, 12 and 16, were killed 40 days apart from each other during the first year of the second Intifada.

Getting down to business

Twelve months ago, Gaza was mired in a conflict that left 2,251 Palestinians dead and more than 100,000 homeless. The economy of the Gaza Strip has not even begun to make a recovery. Despite this bleak outlook, some young people - and some young women in particular - refuse to give in and are looking to launch start-up companies.

Archaeology of a dispossession

Susiya is a small Palestinian village in the West Bank. In 1986, when the remains of a synagogue were found in the village, the site was declared a national park and the land confiscated. Residents were relocated to nearby agricultural lands.

Left out in the cold

Every day, hundreds of people go to the Shamali warehouse in Shejaia, Gaza, where they hope to get the cement they need to re-build their homes after the devastating Gaza offensive of summer 2014. Almost five months on, reconstruction has virtually not begun.

Middle East Eye
Film festival on the frontline of a conflict over memory

A Palestinian Film Festival took place in the Israeli coastal city of Haifa on 4-6 March 2015. The event was organised by Zochrot, a small Israeli NGO devoted to raising awareness of the Nakba ('catastrophe' in Arabic) amongst the Israeli public.