“ Well what is my dream? 

I am not really certain about it, although sometimes I would like to become a president, you know the king but a bit more different and more modern. Becoming president is a way for me, to bring change, to help people, to be a leader, and also  “ to know more” (confidential secrets) and many more things. Unfortunately this is just a dream, but fortunately dreams do come true. ”

Cyrus P., Tehran, Iran

It’s a rainy November morning in Gaza and a truce has just been announced after 8 days of fighting. A young man stands in the rubbles of what is left of his home, destroyed in an air strike just an hour before the war ended. Behind him, a framed picture still hangs crooked on the wall. The boy’s name is Ahmed, he is 18 years old and the son of a fisherman. He wants to live in peace and go to college but we are in the Gaza strip and dreams have their limits here, you often have the feeling of being caught up in a game where you always turn out the looser.

On the other side, 95 kilometers and a wall away, is Jerusalem, the city many Gazawis dream of visiting but who most never will. This is a land of contradictions, a land of walls, a land of visible and invisible borders. From Omri’s Art school you can see the separation wall on a clear day. Omri, who got freed from the obligatory Israeli military service by pretending he was gay during the medical examinations, says that he dreams of feeling at home someplace someday, away from the religious and political tensions he has grown up with.

THEY CALL US DREAMERS BUT WE'RE THE ONES WHO DON'T SLEEP is a photo essay looking at the hopes and dreams of youth, inspired by the fact that youth should be the age of infinite possibilities. It originated from the idea that youth is the age of infinite possibility because hopes and dreams are not yet conditioned by experience so one might actually believe in miracles.

As I continued the work across the Middle East in the aftermath of the Arab Spring revolutions, I realised until which extent dreams and aspirations are actually conditioned by society.  

Using Format