Over the past few decades, media outlets around the world have embraced a narrative that solely focuses on either the suffering of Palestinians or their portrayal as violent fundamentalists. Whether it is conflict and restrictions in the West Bank, or the continuing humanitarian disaster in Gaza, it seems that the media has limited Palestine to tragedy and terror. The people, however, students, artists, entrepreneurs, and professionals, an entire generation of regular people, disinterested in politics and building their own paths in life within the confines of an occupation, are continuously overlooked.

While we at Hidden Palestine recognize the necessity of consistently exposing the occupation for what it is, we believe it is also critical to show stories of Palestinian success, achievement, and peaceful resistance. Despite the daily hardships, Palestinian art, educational institutions, and society continue to thrive. Palestinians continue to channel their creativity into developing innovative solutions to their problems and building meaningful organizations. They continue to express pride in their common heritage and their hope for a liberated future by preserving and celebrating their culture and vast traditions. Resisting the occupation of Palestinian lands and exposing the crimes committed against Palestinians is essential, but it should not come at the expense of promoting a place that is still filled with beauty and wonder, and inhabited by a generous, friendly, and joyful people.

Hidden Palestine’s mission is to bring the world to Palestine both virtually and in person, to be a source of knowledge and inspiration, as well as a platform for activism. We hope to fill the gap in media coverage of Palestinian art and culture, and to reveal both Palestine’s hidden beauty, as well as the resilience and strength of its people. Finally, we work to empower and elevate the voices of Palestinians globally, to promote Palestinian tourism and businesses, and to show the world that Palestinian culture and excellence, from architecture and technology, to theatre and dance, continue to flourish today, and will continue to flourish tomorrow.

Our Story

My name is Joseph and I started Hidden Palestine in January 2019. I am not Palestinian—I am Egyptian and lived in Cairo for most of my childhood. I currently reside between Washington and Toronto, where I work in the international development field.
When I created the Hidden Palestine Instagram account, it was dedicated to Mira, my partner. Mira is a Palestinian, whose grandparents had been expelled from Qatamon, a former Palestinian neighborhood in Jerusalem that was ethnically cleansed of its Palestinian residents in 1948. Mira introduced me to Palestine, told me stories of her family's history and displacement, and ultimately changed my life. The Instagram account was only meant to be a small birthday gift for Mira, a photo collection of beautiful, hidden places in Palestine that would inspire her and make her day. Little did I know how many people around the world were also seeking beauty in a place that they had exclusively known as one consisting of trauma and loss.
As I started engaging with accounts that were supporting the Palestinian narrative, Hidden Palestine grew rapidly. Within months, I received messages from people around the world who were truly surprised by the amount of beauty and culture that existed in Palestine, but also the level of oppression that they hadn't comprehended their entire lives. I received messages from allies and activists who had always dreamt of visiting Palestine and had finally gotten a chance to see another side of it. But more importantly, I received messages from Palestinians of the diaspora, many of whom had been born as refugees, and who had never known that such beauty not only existed in their own homeland, but that there was an abundance of it. Not to mention the millions of Palestinians inside the occupied territories who are prevented from seeing the rest of their lands due to movement restrictions.
And so I felt a responsibility to keep the account active. I spent several weeks in Palestine that year, educated myself about Palestinian history and culture, and met hundreds of people who I now consider my extended family. I thought that I was knowledgable about the region and the conditions there, but I found myself delving into a history of injustice and anti-colonial resistance that I had known very little about. Hidden Palestine became my outlet to share a piece of that acquired knowledge with anyone willing to listen.
Faced with the conditions that Palestinians experience on a daily basis, few societies in history would have been able to preserve their heritage, culture, and spirit the way Palestinians have. But they have, and they’ve done so with incredible grace and honor. I hope that this platform will do justice to this people and, if possible, do some good along the way. Thanks for stopping by.

Mira's Grandparents' home in Qatamon, Jerusalem- now settled by an Israeli family