Jeff O'Brien, Lifta (#53) (2017).


A book of my photographs and text on Lifta, Palestine. Project coming online mid-2021. Book publication expected late 2021.

2.4 In 1947, the town of Lifta, then home to 2,550 Palestinians, was not an unexceptional town, but just one of 417 soon to be erased during Nakba, a process of erasure that extends today and not just a singular “event” in 1948. Lifta had a mosque, an elementary school, two cafes and several shops. Remnants of these buildings and around four hundred homes remain, many with crater-sized holes in the roof to ensure the buildings are inhabitable. Today, Lifta is the only standing Palestinian village within the pre-1948 borders that has not been entirely demolished or planted over by the efforts of the Jewish National Fund.

2.5 Sari Nasir, born in Lifta in 1938, writes that her family left,
Most of the things, except for the key. I remember that my mother wouldn’t leave, we had to force her. … She cried, I remember her tears. And I remember she said: ‘please, let me close the doors’. They told her that we would only go away for a couple of days, that we would come back. I have childhood memories of fleeing to the other side of Jerusalem. How bombs would fall and how people would be injured, blood all over them.