Aisha Mershani was born in Las Vegas, Nevada to an American Jewish mother and a Moroccan Muslim father. Mershani holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Redlands in California, and a Master’s and a Ph.D. degree from the UNESCO program in Peace, Development Studies, and Conflict Transformation at the Universitat Jaume I in Castelló de la Plana, Spain. Mershani’s Ph.D. dissertation, entitled Palestinian Civil Resistance: A Case Study of the Popular Struggle Against the Wall from 2002-2013, focused on life in the Occupied West Bank since the establishment of the Israeli Apartheid Wall, and the Palestinian popular struggle to remain on their lands.
From 2003-2022 Mershani has photographed military checkpoints, popular demonstrations, house demolitions, destroyed villages, and the daily lives of Palestinians living under the violence of Israeli apartheid. These photographs, which cannot be seen in mainstream media, expose the reality of life in the West Bank by highlighting the Palestinian popular struggle and the steadfastness of the Palestinian people who resist Israeli violence daily to remain on their land. In their major exhibition, Hope Under Siege (2006) at Michelle O’Connor Gallery in San Francisco, Mershani collaborated with fellow photographer Lisa Nessan. Mershani also exhibited a collection of their photographs at the Arab Cultural Festival and the Arab feminist group exhibition entitled: Prologue and Epilogue: Arab Feminism Past and Present exhibit in San Francisco and at the AMWAJ gathering (Arab Movement of Women Arising for Justice) in Chicago that same year. Mershani’s photographs were also exhibited in the Musselman Library at Gettysburg College (2015-2016), and at a group show of Arab artists entitled Our Land at the Amelie A. Wallace Gallery at SUNY Old Westbury (2018). Most recently Mershani co-curated and exhibited their work at Shmucker Art Gallery at Gettysburg College titled LANDMARK: Landscape Photography in the Arab World (2022).
Mershani’s solo exhibit will occur this upcoming (September 14 2023- November 11, 2023) at InLiquid Art Gallery at the Crane Arts Building in Philadelphia, PA. This show will span Mershani’s work of 20 years documenting life in the Occupied Palestinian Territories behind the Apartheid Wall. Mershani’s photographs have been in multiple publications, as well as many internet news sites over the years to further the awareness of the ongoing ground movement. They are also one of the artists in the reference book, “Encyclopedia of Arab American Artists”. Aisha Mershani is currently an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Gettysburg College and combines their scholarly work with their media activism.