Welcome to Bir Nabala

October 2012

The town of Bir Nabala, next to Jerusalem, is trapped in an enclave of the Separation Barrier. A residential suburb of East Jerusalem since the 1970s, Bir Nabala enjoyed relative prosperity in the 1990s thanks to its central location and easy access to Ramallah and East Jerusalem, and from there to central Israel. Now isolated by the barrier, Bir Nabala lost half its residents, most of them East Jerusalemites who returned to the city, and many of the town’s businesses closed. Using unique archival footage, “Welcome to Bir Nabala” documents the transformation of Bir Nabala into a ghost town, via the stories of two local banquet halls.