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Interpreting the Evidence

Refugee Child from Nablus, Palestine

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Era:

    Turn of the Century and WWI (1890 - 1930)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:

    Global History and Geography
    World War I

  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:


  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Refugee Child from Nablus, Palestine, n.d. in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Refugee child from Nablus, Palestine, n.d.
Historical Context
As in other wars, soldiers were not the only victims of World War I.  No area is designed to be a battlefield.  To the contrary, battles often take place on or around peoples’ cities, towns, and even their personal property.  The fear of approaching war, fear of or abuse from enemies, or the concern of occupation by a military group are all factors that may force people to flee their homes or even their country.  People displaced from their countries as a result of war or other extreme circumstances are known as refugees.

The child in the photograph is a refugee from Nablus, a city located in the West Bank.
Although World War I is often associated with the trench warfare of the Western Front in Europe, the war was fought across the span of several continents.  One area of intense fighting was the Middle East, where the British and Arabic allies fought against the Ottoman Empire (the Ottomans were aligned with the Central Powers).  Like so many people in other cities and towns in various parts of the world, some of the inhabitants of Nablus fled their homeland as a result of World War I.
Essential Question
How does geography determine the effects of war?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain the situation of the individual.
Historical Challenges
Although World War I ended decades ago, both global unrest and disasters have made people refugees in several parts of the world. Research and report on one group of people that have become refugees, where they are now, what problems they have faced, and what solutions may resolve their situation.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Family and Consumer Science: Design a blueprint of a facility to help refugees. Label buildings and fixtures, and explain why you shoes to include the features you did.
Math: Suppose an individual at a refugee camp needs to eat 5 lbs. of food each day. If a supply truck can carry 2 tons of food, how many trucks would it take to supply food for 3,000 refugees for one day?