When Mohammed Hajjaj, 22, and Mohammed Nassar, 31, established their Hollywood Beach Studio, the place was meant to “document people’s joys and weddings”. But in the latest Israeli war on Gaza, the once-little oasis, nestled by the Gaza sea, now stands in ruins.
For Hajjaj and Nassar, the place was their “dream coming true”. The two university graduates, like much of Gaza’s workforce, needed a place to work. They invested everything they owned and borrowed much more. The opening day was the Eid, the Muslim holiday. And the co-owners had much to look forward to. Their Studio was booked solid for many days. For the two young Palestinians, the future was, finally, full of promise.
But in the Israeli war, “the dream has died,” Nassar told The Palestine Chronicle. “My hard work of many months and my whole life savings were turned into dust by Israeli missiles,” he said, struggling to explain his feeling when he first saw their dream company leveled to the ground.
Hajjaj, a graduate in business management from Gaza’s Al-Azhar University, tried to convey his feeling as he walked around the mounds of dirt, where Gaza’s little oasis once stood:
“This is a place we have built to document the joyous occasions of people in Gaza. As you can see all around you, there are still traces of what this place used to be, beautiful lawn, flowers, and trees. It all ended when the Israeli military decided to strike the place for no reason whatsoever. There used to be a garden here, and a beautiful water fountain. Now, it all stands in ruins.
“I learned that our studio was bombed when the neighbors called me. I was at home. I came running to realize that the place was hit by two missiles. From a quick glance, I thought that the damage could be repaired before the start of the Eid. I was wrong. It seems that it was hit by at least ten missiles. It is now nothing but wreckage and dust.
“I was in total shock. I raised a lot of money and invested all that I had to make my dream happen. I am in so much debt. But I don’t have anything to give. The destruction that happened to my studio is equal to the mental destruction that I feel. This place was supposed to document and celebrate our joys and weddings. It now documents Israeli aggression and wars. Sadly, the place was hit before the official opening. Not a single wedding was filmed here.”
(All photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)
(The Palestine Chronicle)