I’m all about the beauty of resistance, not just merely surviving through harsh conditions, but finding creative ways to give birth to life when you’re surrounded by (the constant glimpses of) death. That is why I love stories like Darfur Sartorialist, Syrian artists breaking world records in the midst of war, or parkour in Gaza.
It’s about finding freedom within you. It has to work within a limited physical area (like Gaza), yes, but it helps breaking the imposed restraints. Because – you choose to live and not be defeated and not be depressed. It gives you strength to go on in life and – fight back.
This is another story about the beauty of resistance.
Andrew McConnell is famous photographer whose work was featured in most of the world’s biggest publications, he has won two 1st place prizes at the World Press Photo Awards and many other awards. What I like about his work is the fact that he’s always driven by a desire to tell the stories that remain underreported in the international media. From Congo to Gana, from Syria to Gaza.
One of those stories is a story about the surf club in Gaza. Here are some of McConnell’s photos.
Mohammed Abu Jayab gestures to his dughter as he walks from his home in Shati Refugee Camp, Gaza.
Mohammed Abu Jayab teaches his son to surf at his home in Shati Refugee Camp.
16 years old Amer al Dous paddles out to sea from Gaza City.
Ibrahim Alamassi breaks through the surf off Gaza City.
Sabah Abo Ghanem, 11, and Kholoud Abo Ghanem, 10, look at the horizon off Gaza city. The girls are cousins and together with their two sisters they represent the only female surfers in Gaza, borrowing surfboards when they can.
Gaza’s Mediterranean coastline, seen from Gaza City.
As the last of the light fades, Mohammed Abu Jayab paddles through the surf in the hope of the final waves, Gaza City.
Ali Ayrhim walks along Sheik Khazdien beach with his sufrboard, Gaza City.
Surfers melt candles onto their boards before going to surf off Gaza City. Surf materials like wax are impossible to find in Gaza.
/all photos © Andrew McConnell/
For more on McConnell and his work, visit his official website.
For more on the context of the recent events in Gaza, I recommend the latest piece by Rashid Khalidi for New Yorker.
To end this post:
We teach life, sir!