This exhibition aimed first and foremost to bring the voices and faces of refugees into the public sphere, thus enabling a direct, human encounter with them and their painful past. The use of the Hebrew word “Takiru” (to introduce, to get to know) serves a variety of meanings within different word combinations such as: get to know me, recognize the facts, recognize reality, and recognize me.
The exhibition debuted at the Holon Mediatheque on 21 June 2015. Ms. Walpurga Englbrecht, the UNHCR Representative in Israel at the time, delivered the opening remarks, followed by statements from Mr. Yossi Lemel of Lemel-Cohen, the exhibition designer; Prof. Amit Schechter, Head of the Department of Communication Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; and Mr. Mutasim Ali, a refugee from Darfur, Sudan, whose filmed testimony was featured at the exhibit.
Kebedum Mengistu: The Testimony of an Eritrean Accountant Jailed at Israel’s ‘Holot’ Detention Center
This video presents the brief testimony of Kebedum Mengistu from Eritrea. In 2015, Kebedum was one of the 35,000 Eritrean migrants – some of them asylum seekers and some in need of international protection – living in Israel without status and basic rights. Hundreds of them were held at the “Holot” detention facility.
In the video, Kebedum explains: “We did not come here to look for work, to seek a comfortable life or to receive Israeli citizenship. We came because of the evil that harmed us and in order to save our lives … We have been here for a while and will stay until we get our freedom…”
Mutasim Ali: The Testimony of the First Sudanese National to Receive Asylum in Israel
This video presents the brief testimony of Mutasim Ali, from Sudan, Darfur. Until 2016, Mutasim was one the approximately 3,500 Darfuri Sudanese living in Israel without temporary status and without access to refugee rights accorded by the 1951 Refugee Convention.
During the filming of the video, Mutasim explained that many nationals of Darfur, Sudan are refugees and, as such, they are given protection in most countries in the world. Mutasim became the only Sudanese asylum seeker to be granted refugee status in Israel.
Yusuf Daud: The Testimony of a Sudanese Asylum Seeker Who Hopes to One Day Return to his Homeland
This video presents the brief testimony of Yusuf Daoud, from Darfur, Sudan. At the time of this interview in 2015, Yusuf was one of 3,500 Darfuri Sudanese living in Israel.
In the video, taken during Yusuf’s stay at the “Holot” detention facility, he explains: “I am not an infiltrator, I did not come here to work… No one wants to be a refugee, but the circumstances forced us to come and people need to understand us. When the problem in our country is over, we will return. We have a land and a state…”
Saba Tadesse: The Testimony of an Eritrean Woman who Describes Torture and Abuse of Eritreans en route to Israel
This video presents the brief testimony of Saba Tadesse from Eritrea — one of approximately 4,000 Eritrean women living in Israel without status and basic rights. Saba refers to thousands of Eritrean citizens who were victims of torture and exploitation in the Sinai before entering Israel, and for whom only partial medical services are available at the Ministry of Health clinics. In the video, she says: “I am not an infiltrator, I escaped from a dictatorship and I want to be given protection in a democratic country.”
Usumain Baraka: The Testimony of an Unaccompanied Minor from Darfur in Israel
This video presents the brief testimony of Usumain Baraka, from Darfur, Sudan; Usumain is one of 60 unaccompanied Darfuri minors who entered Israel. Some of the minors have witnessed the murder of their family and friends, others still have families who remained in refugee camps near the Sudanese border. In the testimony, Usumain explains: “Refugees are not enemies. They are people who have fled from war-torn countries because their ethnicity or religion put their lives in danger… and Usumain asks to be recognized as a refugee and to be given protection until there is peace in his country.”