10 May 2015

Amira Hass - Monitoring the Centres of Power

From Sunday Morning, 11:06 am on 10 May 2015

Amira Hass photo Wallace Chapman

On a summer day in 1944, my mother was herded from a cattle car along with the rest of its human cargo, which had been transported from Belgrade to the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. She saw a group of German women, some on foot, some on bicycles, slow down as the strange procession went by and watch with indifferent curiosity on their faces. For me, these women became a loathsome symbol of watching from the sidelines, and at an early age I decided that my place was not with the bystanders.

- Amira Hass, from Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land under Siege.

Amira Hass is an Israeli journalist who has spent more than two decades reporting on the Israel-Palestine conflict from within the occupied territories – first Gaza and then the West Bank.

The daughter of Holocaust survivors has won numerous journalism awards – including the World Press Freedom Hero award from the International Press Institute and the Reporters Without Borders press freedom award – and is the author of Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land under Siege.

What makes Amira Hass unique is that she doesn't just report on the occupied territories, she lives there. And living there has given her insights into the minutiae of daily life under occupation, that are unparalleled. Some stories uplifting, others truly heartbreaking.

Wallace Chapman to Amira about her life and work.