I was born as a Shia Muslim in South Lebanon by the name of Ibrahim Yassin. During my previous life, Lebanon was the “playground” of the Middle East, much like Syria is today.
I was harassed on a daily basis by the Palestinian organizations that controlled the area I was living in because I was a Shia Muslim, so when the Israelis came I was happy because they restored order in my village.
I wanted to have a quiet village and a normal life that would be free from violence, so I decided to help provide the Israelis with information about insurgent activity in my village — a decision that would come to change my life dramatically.
In 1985 I was kidnapped by Hezbollah and I was locked in an underground bunker for an entire year. Take your worst nightmare, multiply it by 1,000 and you still won’t get to where I was. I handled the beating, the starvation and the torture, but nothing could have prepared me for their heinous crime of burning my nine-month-old baby son in front of my eyes. I felt that surely my life had come to an end.
After a year in the bunker they released me believing that I had become a true believer in Hezbollah’s cause. I knew from the moment I was released that I would fight back against this cruel organization. I was determined to rid my country of Hezbollah so we could be free, and so no other child would ever be burned in front
The Human Behind Humans of Israel
Erez Kaganovitz, journalist and photographer, with his wife, Reut, showcase the diverse faces of Israel in order to tell the Israeli story as a whole.