One day it was only an idea, then it became reality. A year and a half ago, I had 10,000 followers on Instagram; now I have more than 70,000. They are jostling to know the details of a girl in her twenties from Gaza and how she lives on a daily basis. Even though I am a student in Media and Journalism, I faced many difficulties each day to take a picture or a video that could be published on my account. I decided to invest in the large number of followers I have by presenting something that would benefit them and change the stereotype from a miserable Gaza to the beautiful Gaza city that carries hope and simplicity. After a long time of thinking to myself, I decided to implement the idea of ‘Ensaf’s adventure’; which is a photo-video series that shows to the world the historical, archaeological, and religious places of Gaza. This was the qualitative change that happened in my life – how we can challenge the traditions of a conservative community by presenting a girl in video films and photos!
I actually try to convince everyone who criticizes my work and frustrates me that my presence on social media is similar to a presence on TV. Since I hadn’t gotten the opportunity to work in any local media organization, I wanted my adventures to be like an individual program in which I would feel free. With God willing, I’ve succeeded in this step and now I own a cultural archive about Gaza and its history. I’ve also moved on to another step, from individual adventures to a series of collective adventures called “Gaza adventures” with group of friends. Now our team consists of four girls and we’ve got quite a lot of fame, but to have a special name on social media is not that easy because you have to present inspiring content for people who are interested in what you share every day. I won’t hide it – I decided to be inspiring person to everyone who follows me and supports me with a comment or a message and wonders: “How can a girl from Gaza share images of beauty and life? And how could Gaza be a city that carries hope, although people only know of it as the city of war and blood?”!
This experience has brought so much to me – it has refined my skills in presenting and editing, allowed me to practice media, given me so much knowledge, and created a name for me locally and regionally. It also gave me a network of personal relations with other social media activists. Now I am only waiting to make my dream come true of visiting Jerusalem and praying in Al-Aqsa mosque and, in that moment, I will take a video of this adventure, which will be really deserving of the name!