Join Gaza’s Fishermen as the ‘Warriors’ Take on the Mighty Sea (PHOTO ESSAY)

Palestinian fishermen in Al-Mina, the harbor, in Gaza City. (Photo: Mahmoud Nasser, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Mahmoud Nasser

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. 

A group of fishermen walking back to shore after preparing the first boat in Al-Mina – the harbor, in Gaza City on February 1, 2022. (The Palestine Chronicle/Mahmoud Nasser)
A fisherman stands on top of his fishing boat before venturing out to the sea in Gaza City on February 1, 2022. (The Palestine Chronicle/Mahmoud Nasser)
Fishermen prepare their boat in Al-Mina in Gaza City on February 1, 2022. (The Palestine Chronicle/Mahmoud Nasser)
A young fisherman leaves the boats’ storage bunker in Gaza City on February 1, 2022. (The Palestine Chronicle/Mahmoud Nasser)
Two fishermen at work as they prepare to carry their fishing nets into a small boat in Gaza City on February 1, 2022. (The Palestine Chronicle/Mahmoud Nasser)
A fisherman pushes a small boat into the water in preparation for the sea journey ahead in Gaza City on February 1, 2022. (The Palestine Chronicle/Mahmoud Nasser)
Ahmad Saad-Allah, one of the most experienced fishermen in Gaza, stands next to his boat and fishing net in Al-Mina in Gaza City on February 1, 2022. (The Palestine Chronicle/Mahmoud Nasser)
A fisherman fills the boat’s engine with gasoline in Gaza City on February 1, 2022. (The Palestine Chronicle/Mahmoud Nasser)
Al-Hissy, another experienced fisherman who leads the entire departure process, poses for a photo in Gaza City on February 1, 2022. (The Palestine Chronicle/Mahmoud Nasser)
Ahmad Saad-Allah and Al-Hissy ensure everything is ready before departure in Gaza City on February 1, 2022. (The Palestine Chronicle/Mahmoud Nasser)
Fishing boats are tugged into the sea to fish in Gaza City on February 1, 2022. (The Palestine Chronicle/Mahmoud Nasser)
Fishing boats depart to sea in batches before sunset in Gaza City on February 1, 2022. (The Palestine Chronicle/Mahmoud Nasser)
Other fishermen in the harbor resort to the fishing rod in order to subsist in Gaza City on February 1, 2022. (The Palestine Chronicle/Mahmoud Nasser)

 

(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 mahmoud-bn@hotmail.com.
(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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