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Ahikam Seri (Israel)
Bedouin of the Israeli Negev
Ahikam Seri, From the series Bedouin of the Israeli Negev

For centuries the Bedouin have lived in the Negev desert, which with the founding of Israel in 1948 came into Israeli hands. Some 90,000 Bedouin fled to Egypt or Jordan; the remaining 10,000 decided to remain. They became subject to Israeli politics, which focused on concentrating the Arab desert peoples in cities controlled by the Israeli state. Today 60,000 Bedouin live in such cities, which suffer from unemployment, poverty and criminality. Another 70,000 Bedouin refuse to give up the land of their birth and their lives in 45 towns not acknowledged by the state. These towns lack such basic amenities as water, electricity and sewers.

The fate of the Bedouin of the Negev desert interested freelance journalist Ahikam Seri (b. Israel, 1972). He produced an extensive reportage on the circumstances in which they live and their struggle against the Israeli government. This is increasing in vehemence because, as a result of religious and social economic circumstances, the Bedouin - as tribal communities traditionally loyal to various regimes - increasingly declare their solidarity with the Palestinians.

Courtesy Fifty Crows Foundation (USA) / Panos Pictures (Great Britain)