Soundwalk – Ameer Shalabi

Mas’ha is a small village located 70km to the north of Jerusalem. TheĀ Israeli Apartheid Wall was built in 2004, it stole 80% of the villages agricultural lands. It was also the reason why the Mas’ha market was shut down. The population of the Mas’ha went down from 7000 to 2500 in less than two years. Workers and merchants left the village to find work somewhere else.

The Mas’ha market was one of the biggest markets in the area. It was a commercial hub where Palestinians exchanged goods and services. Everything from vegetables, machinery, and toys was sold in the market. Merchants and business owners came from Hebron, Nablus, and Jerusalem to open shops. The market was also a location where many NGOs were active.

Today, after 12 years of shutting down the market, the warehouses and building stand abandoned. Only carpenters and blacksmiths stayed since the market was shut down. Every once in a while, I take a walk around the old markets. Memories of my 2nd and 3rd grade when you couldn’t see an end to the swarms of people.

In the recording below, sounds that are still present are recorded. Birds that inhabit the old buildings and warehouses, occasional cars passing through the market, the sounds of asphalt and soil, and the wind. They all give identity to a long lost prosperous era of the village. But, at the end of the street, I find myself in front of the wall. I hit it a couple of times, but it stands there, silent and ugly.

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