| Welcome to Global Village Space

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Renowned Journalist Motaz Azaiza leaves Gaza

Azaiza hinted at multiple reasons for his evacuation, some of which he suggested were known to his audience.

Renowned Palestinian photojournalist Motaz Azaiza, acclaimed for his impactful coverage of the conflict-ridden Gaza, has safely reached Doha after evacuating the strip on Tuesday.

Azaiza’s Instagram following skyrocketed to over 18 million in just 108 days as he documented the harsh realities of Israel’s military invasion and relentless bombardment of the besieged region. In a heartfelt video on social media, the 24-year-old announced his evacuation, expressing a mix of relief and sorrow, stating, “This is the last time you will see me with this heavy, stinky (press) vest. I decided to evacuate today. … Hopefully soon I’ll jump back and help to build Gaza again.”

Read more: Palestinian Journalist Motaz Azaiza named ‘Man of The Year’ by GQ Middle East

Azaiza hinted at multiple reasons for his evacuation, some of which he suggested were known to his audience. He openly spoke about receiving death threats and alleged offers from Israel to cease documenting the aggression in Gaza. His journey out of Gaza led him through the Egyptian border to El Arish airport, where he was received by a Qatari military jet. Azaiza shared with his followers that this was his first time flying in an airplane.

His evacuation announcement video on Instagram has already garnered over 2.5 million likes and a flood of supportive comments, including from celebrities like Kehlani, Karen Wazen, and Alana Hadid.

Citizen journalists, such as Azaiza, have played a pivotal role in humanizing the Gaza war. Through platforms like Instagram, they have formed deep emotional connections with a global audience, shedding light on the human impact of the ongoing conflict.

Read more: Middle East royal calls for end to Western ‘dominance’

The situation in Gaza has prompted other journalists to leave as well. Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Gaza, Wael Dahdouh, evacuated to Doha for medical treatment earlier this month, following the tragic death of his son Hamza, also a journalist, in an Israeli airstrike. Plestia Alaqad, a 22-year-old journalist, relocated to Melbourne in November due to concerns for her family’s well-being.

Despite these departures, several prominent journalists continue to report from Gaza, including 9-year-old Lama Jamous, 25-year-old Bisan Owda, and 29-year-old Hind Khoudary.