This first video profile features two of many bloggers who have begun writing about the reality of life in the Gaza Strip. Although Gaza-based blogs date back to 2004, there has been a virtual boom since Israel launched its massive attack on the densely populated Strip in the winter of 2008/9. In a classic example of “blowback” (unintended consequences), Israel’s aggression served as a motivator for many young Palestinians in Gaza to find new, creative ways of speaking out. The first young blogger featured, Sameeha Elwan, speaks eloquently of being “shocked” into activism. (Image Right: Gaza bloggers Jeehan AlFarra and Sameeha Elwan)
Another young blogger, Mohammed Suliman, writes: “Despite its many severely negative results, Israel’s siege of Gaza has offered Palestinian youth a service none had offered before. It offered new paths for us in our struggle for freedom, deepened our patriotic sentiment and finally created an environment that fosters a collective sense of selflessness and cooperation. It has created a young generation that truly cares.”
Most of the bloggers write in Arabic and address readers in Gaza, the West Bank and the Arab world at large, but a substantial number are writing in English to reach an international audience. And slowly, the number of their readers is growing, and foreign media (such as the popular American website Mondoweiss) are reprinting their entries. Listen for yourself, then check out their blogs, and see why.
The videos below introduce you to the 'Palestinian Gandhis' in this second installment, Sameeha Elwan and Jeehan AlFarra.
More on the project and the film maker is discussed in our introductory post. In the coming days, we will be posting several more interviews with "Palestinian Gandhis".