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Join Us - Obliterated Families: Intimate Portraits of Gaza's Lost

Sunday, April 2, 2017 - 8:00am to Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 8:00am

A speaking tour with photojournalist Anne Paq and journalist Ala Qandil, who are working to lift up the stories of people in Gaza.

About the tour

For speaker bios, click on the image above.

The Obliterated Families project started in the midst of the Israeli offensive of 2014. Anne Paq and Ala Qandil were in Gaza, documenting the results of the Israeli bombings—Anne as a photographer and Ala Qandil as a reporter—when they realized that every day entire families were bombed in their homes, or while fleeing, and they could not keep count.

In the chaos and rush of the bombed houses, hospitals, morgues, and funerals, it was impossible to find out more than just a few basic details: names, number of people killed, location. After the ceasefire, when most reporters had already left, Anne and Ala returned to Gaza to build personal portraits of those who were killed and the survivors.

Numbers have often been used to describe the Israeli offensive on Gaza: 51 (days), 2,200 (dead Palestinians), 551 (children killed), 11,000 (injured), 100,000 (homeless), half a million (displaced). But the statistics do not reflect the loss of a loved one, the bombing of a home, the fear or the trauma that comes after the ceasefire. They took one such statistic—142 (the number of families who lost three or more members)—and turned it into an intimate tale of sudden loss, pain, and life in the aftermath.

The Obliterated Families documentary tells the story of these families. Anne, a member of the Activestills photo collective, also won the grand prize in the Editorial Documentary Category of the International Photographer of the Year Awards for the photos, which are at the heart of the project.

On this tour, Anne and Ala will share their experiences in Gaza, talk about these families and others impacted by Israel's attacks on Gaza and the blockade, and offer ideas of what can be done to bring change.

Join AFSC at one of their upcoming appearances to learn more about the crisis in Gaza and why the U.S. must demand an end to the blockade. We also encourage you to visit AFSC's new campaign Gaza Unlocked.  

Read Anne and Ala's bios 


Tour schedule

All events are free and open to the public. Note: Not all events have been finalized. Please check back for details.

Ala Balata, 18, looks at the photos of the members of his family who were killed in an Israeli attack. Ala is the only survivor of his family. Photo: Anne PaqApril 2, 2 p.m.: 
Madison, Wisconsin
St. James Church, 1128 St. James Ct., Madison, Wisconsin
Public presentation as a part of the annual Rachel Corrie commemoration organized by the Madison-Rafah Sister Cities Project and sponsored by American Friends Service Committee group of Madison Friends Meeting; Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison Chapter; Mary House of Hospitality, Colombia Support Network; Memorial UCC-Fitchburg; Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom-Madison; Jewish Voice for Peace-Madison; Good Shepherd Parish social justice committee; Pilgrims of IbillinIf possible, please RSVP to Michele Bahl March 31.
View the event on Facebook.

April 4, 7 p.m.: Des Moines, Iowa
Noce Jazz Cabaret, 1326 Walnut St., Des Moines, Iowa
Public event co-sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, Noce, The Middle East Peace Education Coalition (MEPEC), WILPF-Des Moines Branch, Methodist Federation for Social Action-Iowa Chapter, and STAR*PAC
For more information, contact: Jon Krieg, AFSC, 515-207-4699
View the event on Facebook.

April 6, 6-8 p.m.: Chicago, Illinois
University of Chicago, Biological Sciences Learning Center
924 E 57th St., Chicago, Il. 60637
Public Event sponsored by the University of Chicago SJP
View the event on Facebook

April 7, 4-6 p.m.: Chicago, Illinois
Shool of the Art Institute of Chicago
112 South Michigan Ave., Room 707
Public Event sponsored by SAIC Students for Justice in Palestine.

April 10, 7-9 p.m.: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Friends Center, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19038
Public event sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee
View the event on Facebook.

April 12, TBD
New York, New York

The New School – event details to come

April 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
New York, New York
15 St. Friends Meeting, 15 Rutherford Place, New York, NY 10003
Public event sponsored by the 15th Street Meeting, Jewish Voice for Peace New York, and Adalah New York

April 15, 5:30 p.m
Princeton, New Jersey
Rocky/Mathey Theater, Princeton University (inside Madison Hall)
Public event sponsored by the Princeton Committee on Palestine

April 18, 7 p.m.
Washington, D.C.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Capitol Hill, 301 A Street S.E. (Capitol South Metro)
Sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace D.C. Metro Area

April 22-23: Festival Cinema Invisible, Schenectady, New York
Screening of “Gaza: An Open Wound” Sunday, April 23, from 12 to 1:45 p.m. 
View the event on the Festinval Cinema Invisible website

April 25: Seattle, Washington
7:00 pm @ Room 328, Sullivan Hall, Seattle University School of Law at the corner of 12th and Columbia, Seattle
View the event on Facebook

April 26: Olympia, Washington
Doors open at 6:00 pm, and the event will start at 6:30 pm
Olympia Film Society, 266 5th Ave. SE, Olympia
Sponsored by the Rachel Corrie Foundation

April 27, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Berkeley, California
Moffitt Building, Room 106 - University of California Berkeley
Public Event sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine - Berkeley

May 4th, 7:00 pm
Los Angeles, California

Workmen's Circle Building, 1525 S. Robertson, Los Angeles
Public Event sponsored by L.A. Jews for Peace and Markaz
$10 suggested donation, $5 for students
Request from




About AFSC

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker peace and justice organization founded in 1917, has a long history with Palestinians in Gaza, dating back to its relief work following the 1948 War and youth program work until the present day.  AFSC also has a longstanding U.S.-based program focused on education and advocacy in the United States, with decades of experience organizing speaking tours, conferences, campaigns, and congressional advocacy on the issues of Palestine and Israel.  AFSC domestic programs also include work on other justice issues in the United States, including challenging U.S. immigration policies, mass incarceration, and U.S. militarism at home and abroad.  

Contact Information 

For more information contact:
Mike Merryman-Lotze