Surfer dudes in the Gaza Strip dream about braving the big waves, but in the world’s biggest open air prison that is not an easy feat. What many see as an athletic challenge at sea, the young residents at Gaza view not just as an escape from everyday misery, but also as an expression of hope and rebelliousness.
Many beaches provide an escape from the humdrum of life. But in the Gaza Strip, the contrast between a day of relaxing at sea and the tough reality of everyday life is remarkable. Amidst the bomb-shelled buildings and blockades, 23-year-old Ibrahim dreams about starting a surf club in his community. But even just importing a surfboard here is well-nigh impossible.
Ibrahim taught himself how to surf with minimal resources. He would love to fly to Hawaii to visit his friend Matthew, improve his surf skills and learn how to build surfboards. However, there are countless obstacles to that dream, the biggest of which is how to get out of the country. Despite all the costs he has incurred in the procedure, his visa application is turned down every time.
Fifteen-year-old Sarah has also caught the surfer bug. The conservative community that she grew up in, however, has determined that surfing is an indecent activity for women. She is basically forbidden to get into the water anymore. Despite all these obstacles, the youth in Gaza are resilient and courageous. They not only defy the towering waves, they also dare to hope for a better future.
Selected by Yousef Gnaoui (Weapon of Choice).