Confined inside the highly militarized borders of besieged Gaza, Palestinian fishermen flock to the sea just like everyone else so that they may, though momentarily feel somewhat liberated and free.
Here, beachgoers perceive themselves to be free as they swim. They do not feel any limits, thanks to the vastness of the sea.
Fishermen, however, experience the sea in a totally different way.
They can only venture out into the sea with their small boats and dinghies for 6 miles. If they dared go further, sometimes mistakenly, they would risk returning with wounded or even dead fishermen, instead of fish.
The fishermen of Gaza are even robbed of the illusory feeling of freedom that the sea can offer.
Their life is extremely dangerous, but they live it with great courage and resilience, like the rest of the Strip’s two million inhabitants.
Age does not matter for them: either young or old, they work extremely hard, laboring to simply feed their families.
In Gaza, money does not come easy. Here, even breathing cannot be taken for granted.
These are not simple fishermen; they are the warriors of the sea, of life.
They fight the cruel Israeli occupation by simply existing. They fight the mighty sea and they fight to survive. Their story is the story of Gaza, in fact of Palestine.
(The Palestine Chronicle)
- Mahmoud Nasser is a Gaza-based photographer. After spending 13 years outside his country, he decided to come back to photograph Gaza's loss of life, suffering, and the consequences of war, but also the human stories and the love for life. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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