Gaza City – It has been almost eight months since Yara Eid returned to Gaza after six years in the United Kingdom to study international relations.
The 22-year-old was unable to return home while studying to visit his family in Gaza due to Israel’s 15-year blockade of the coast and travel ban. Eid said he had faced “difficult times” following Israeli attacks on Gaza during his time abroad.
“When he was in the UK, every time a bomb hit Gaza my heart stopped,” Eid told Al Jazeera. “I’m glued to my phone 24/7 trying to call my family to see if they’re okay. It’s not going to be easy there.”
The most frightening, he said, were the attacks that occurred after he returned home – three days of Israeli strikes that began on August 5.
Forty-nine Palestinians were killed in an operation targeting Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an armed group in Gaza. About half of the dead were civilians, Palestinian officials said.
At that time, Eid felt that he had to do something, so he decided to use his cell phone, to go to the streets to talk about Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza and try to get his voice out. language
“Basically, I get really scared of bomb sounds,” Eid said. “After the 2014 war in Gaza, I suffered from post-traumatic symptoms that caused health problems and put me in the hospital for years. I was 14 at the time.
“This time was different. I decided to overcome my fears. I had many relationships with my friends back in the UK and strong English skills, so I decided to use that to carry the message of Gaza, and the injustice, oppression and constant bombing that is being done to the people here.”
Eid used his Instagram account to cover what was going on. He visited many bomb sites and hospitals, and his followers grew to 40,000 in a few days.
“Unfortunately in Gaza, there are no English speakers speaking at events on the ground, so I decided to use my language and give a voice to the voiceless,” he said.
“This is my first time on Earth [as a reporter]. I just did what my instincts told me to do. If I see people running, I run with them and tell other people, ‘We’re running because there’s a bomb somewhere nearby.’”
Every Eid activity on Instagram gets a great response from fans around the world. They asked for more information and said his work was important.
“Writing about things is important to me because I want people to live the experiences I lived through,” Eid said. “We are tired of the images on TV, and I want to share an experience of my life.”
“People in the UK know Yara as a normal citizen living and studying in the UK, and she is a student who went back to visit her family and suddenly, she has become a countries that cover negative life experiences that summarize the entire story of life. Strong.”
Bisan Odeh, 23, works on projects that support Gaza’s youth, social projects and content production. He writes stories that reflect the truth of his community and publishes social videos.
“For me, creating projects on my Instagram page is the sweetest thing in the world and I recently created a social media project, the last name is ‘Hakawatiyia’ [Storyteller].”
During the new attack on Gaza, Bisan felt that the area under siege had been neglected, and the casualties – many children and women – were numerous.
Bisan told Al Jazeera that he started shooting the videos after observing the victims of Israeli attacks. He said the mother of the groom was killed on her son’s wedding day along with other innocent people, including 16 children.
“The list goes on,” he said. “At that time, I decided to publish a video talking about the victims in Gaza. They are not a number and what is happening to us is enough.”
The video written by Bisan in English went viral on social media and was shared by many students.
“There are always different stories about Gaza, but through social media, the story must be balanced. We can’t present life here as always, and we can’t talk about the bombing and destruction.
Bisan said that the psychological scars caused by the conflict in Gaza are accumulated every day, and he himself is still struggling.
“Since the end of the war, I have not been able to continue with my life. Even in creating new content. All I think is that we, the Palestinians in Gaza, do not exist and do not matter in the world. And that’s what makes me so mentally exhausted.”
For dental student Salma Shurrab, 20, her work on social media is far from the world of geopolitics. He specializes in marketing, fashion, advertising and travel.
Shurrab said that when he traveled for the first time to participate in an international conference in Turkey, he saw the diversity of cultures and nations.
“What I saw was that I was no different from them,” he said. “I am a smart, intelligent and intelligent girl who follows the latest trends and styles, but after meeting many participants, it became clear”there is a part of Gaza that the world does not know.”
After the August conflict broke out, Shurrab said he felt the need to inform his friends and newcomers about what was going on.
“I just came back from a trip, trying not to focus on how hard it is in Gaza, and when I came back, the anger started,” Shurrab said.
“Here I found that I had to accept my reality and have the opportunity to show it, instead of covering it with the world’s image. I wanted to tell the world that life in Gaza is not only, it can be changed in time.”
Shurrab filmed a video showing his life during the Israeli invasion to convey the message that the people of Gaza can change their lives at any time.
“The video went viral and a lot of friends shared it. Everyone sent me beautiful messages of support and I was happy that I helped even a little bit to get the message out,” he said. he said.
Despite the psychological impact of the Israeli attack, Shurrab said that his ambition to publish, travel and fashion has not changed, but it will be met with the great difficulty of suffering in the Gaza Strip.
“I’m ashamed to share the journey and the image. I think all you have to do is talk about our suffering and try to explain what people are going through every day – whether it’s from the rise of the military or restrictions on the travel and movement,” he said.
“We cannot escape the situation in Gaza. We cannot go as far with our dreams and aspirations as we want.