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Muhammad Shareef

About Design track

Mentor — 

Nati Shamia

The Qalandiya Checkpoint in northern Jerusalem has become an integral part of my daily life. I have to pass through the Qalandiya Checkpoint to cross from the Occupied Palestinian Territories into Israel. This prevents me from living a normal life. I cannot bypass or ignore it. It blocks my path and prevents me from progressing in life. As a little child, I used to go through it on my way to school, and now, as a graduate student, I still have to pass the same checkpoint to get to Bezalel. 

I am but one of 26,000 people who pass through the Qalandia Checkpoint every day. We all have to face this barrier and cope with its direct and indirect effects on our lives. It represents the uncertainty and risks we come across on our paths. The roads familiar to us are closed and blocked, suddenly, and we must search for new alternatives and overcome unpredictable disturbances. I am touched by the feelings and the mental impact on the people passing through the checkpoint. In their own homeland, they are forced to face it and experienced the ongoing frustration and threats. 

In my project, I focus on the Qalandia Checkpoint and its negative impact on my daily life and emotions. I try to share our experiences and provide an insider’s perspective on the challenges and difficulties we encounter. The Qalandia Checkpoint stands for restrictions but also empowerment. On the face of it, this is just a physical barrier, but it conceals human stories about hope for change and opportunity. I translate this experience to the audience and offer insights on the impact of the checkpoint on our daily lives and careers. 

The objective of my project is to shed light on the checkpoint’s harsh reality and promote open discourse with the hope of changing reality. Through our stories, I expect the audience to identify with our needs and struggles. I believe it is only through awareness that we can understand the difficulty, cope with and overcome it. I keep on standing next to you and sounding our voice, hoping for the day all checkpoints would be removed, and we will be able to live a free and normal life.

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Muhammad Shareef

Muhammad Shareef is an industrial designer with a B.Des and M.Des in industrial design from Bezalel. Muhammad worked as a research assistant and researcher at Birzeit University and in the Arab Sector Preparatory College at Bezalel. 

Muhammad is a manager and designer in the family carpentry shop, where he specializes in wood designs. Muhammad has presented his designs in various exhibitions, including Milan Design Week, Dutch Design Week, and the Palestinian Gallery of Contemporary Art. He uses carpentry waste and modernization of woodwork, thereby turning materials into beautiful and functional designs. Muhammad’s passion for sustainable design and creative problem solving make him a valuable asset in every project.

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