Photo credit: An unnamed boy
Date taken: July 19, 2013
Location: Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Palestine
Two boys take a break from selling kharoub, or carob juice, to passersby and stare at the camera as a third boy, their friend and business partner, snaps a photograph.
When passing through Gaza City’s Al-Shati refugee camp, three children called for my attention and gave me a sales pitch about why I should buy their kharoub. I gave in and the boy in the black shirt filled an empty Coca Cola bottle with the ice-cold drink. The third boy, slightly taller than the other two, spotted my camera and asked me to take a picture. Figuring how easy it must be to imitate my hand motions and snap a photograph for himself, the boy asked to hold the camera. After spotting his friends through the viewfinder, he stooped to the right, then to the left, then shot. He looked at the LCD screen, showed the preview to his friends, then smirkingly handed the camera back to me.
For many in the Gaza Strip, money is short and so they begin to work at very young ages, oftentimes forced to forgo elementary education. In this case, the photographer and his two friends sell homemade kharoub from a stand just outside of a popular outdoor market. Together they work throughout the day and well into the evening as families preparing for lunch or dinner stop by for a bottle or two of the sugary drink. They return home dusty and exhausted, passing with open hands the day’s earnings to their parents, only to return to the stand the very next morning.
Let this photograph pay homage to these three little hard workers and to their daily struggle.