An Interview with Khamees: A PhotoPhilanthropy Grantee

Can you tell me more about this program? I learned about PhotoPhilanthropy and the Student Production Grants through TYO. The grant was given to any student, working with any non-profit organization working on educational issues. I chose a theme and I get to take photos surrounding this theme. Of course, I chose to work with TYO but decided to document the theme of child labor in Nablus. I hope to highlight this problem by taking photographs in various locations - including at the schools, in the camps and at their workplaces. I will also have the opportunity to partake in exhibitions in Nablus, throughout Palestine and in the Nablus Municipality Building.

When did you start working at TYO and when did you start with photography?

I started volunteering with TYO in June 2009. I am currently a student at An-Najah University, studying Fine Arts with an interest in photography and I hope to graduate in 2013. When TYO began its Triple Exposure Program, I knew I wanted to be involved in this exciting project.

Why do you keep coming to TYO?

I like working here. By working here, I can feel proud of the commitment I make to my community and see the impact TYO has on its children. TYO provides its students and volunteers with plenty of opportunities and that's what keeps me coming back. I am pleased to say that can see myself working here as much as possible.

Why are you interested in photography?

Photography has no need for language. It is universally understood. I can share my pictures with the world and everyone can understand them.  And through photography, I can participate with global organizations. I also understand the importance of photography and the power it has to make change. I hope to show the important issues affecting children in camps - their struggle a globally important issue. I hope the policy-makers will be made aware of the conditions of the children and they can make the change accordingly. A picture is worth a thousand words.

How will this program benefit you and what are your plans for the future?

It will certainly help me on a professional level, giving me a leg up in becoming a freelance photographer. I will get to have my own professional photography exhibition and be able to highlight my work. I look forward to it!