Al Kufiya – Gaza Photographer (ENG, FR subtitle) / Being 20

My name is Mahmoud Abu Salama, I am a photographer in the Gaza Strip. At first the idea of the photography was for me a hobby. In Gaza, no matter how high your ambition is, you remain in the same circle as that of the siege in which we are. I obtained several diplomas during numerous competitions among which photography competitions After the recent war in Gaza, the idea of the emigration began to torment me. I observe the reality in which we are, there is no hope left in a safe future, except outside the walls of Rafah border crossing. The Rafah border crossing is a gate closed on 2 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. This gate separates us from our dreams and our ambitions in the Gaza Strip. When the crossing point is opened, all three, four, five or six months, during three to four days, people fall over each other. The terminal of Rafah is the dream of all those who, like me, want to travel and to achieve a dream outside the Gaza Strip: whether for studies, work, treatment abroad … Of course, every young person you will question will tell you: I want to travel. Suddenly, you have 20 young people who chant in the street: we want to emigrate, we want to emigrate… Most are University students. I imagine that if the gate of the crossing opened and if I left Gaza behind me, I think that I would have achieved a big exploit. Among the 2 million Palestinians and the 2 million harassments (hassle), I managed to escape. What is important is to leave Gaza whatever the reasons or the cost. Emigration it is not like living in the Gaza Strip… Three wars and internal divisions and nobody feels the way we feel or cares for us.

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