A campaigner and photographer has spoken about life in the Gaza Strip in occupied Palestine. 

The Strip is a small piece of land on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Israel and Egypt.

Saeb Naseer, 25, is a graduate of Multimedia and Photography from Al Quds Open University who begins each day with pre-dawn prayers. 

He stated: “After breakfast I go to work as a freelance photographer, then after work I volunteer at a charity. 

“I used to pray at the mosque but due to Covid-19, they have been shut.”

He explained how the Israeli blockade has caused widespread poverty and privation as Gaza has been under siege since Hamas took control of it in 2007.

Saeb added: “I believe in the importance of helping others and donating to charity so I help my people and my city as much as I can. I believe that assisting people is the right way forward.

“Making poor children smile is my aim now and I use my camera as a witness to Israeli atrocities and the poverty we face.

“I use my photography skills and my education to tell everyone our story and the truth about what is happening here.” 

Asian Image:

(Pictures copyright: Saeb Naseer)

He is passionate about helping the poor and the destitute, and wants to help Palestinians to live a reasonably comfortable life. He also wants the world to see the atrocities that have been going on in the Occupied Territories.

It is the civilian population who have been hit hardest by the 14 year blockade as Gaza has the highest unemployment rate in the world and 80 percent of the population of almost two million require humanitarian aid. 

Asian Image:

(Pictures copyright: Saeb Naseer)

Saeb continued: “The Israeli occupation makes our lives difficult in many ways for example they leave us without drinkable water.

“They also limit our exports so we lose income. We only have six hours of electricity on a good day and they attack us in different ways including bombing us throughout the night.”

Due to the Israeli siege and bombing of infrastructure, water in Gaza is contaminated and undrinkable. On most days, Gazans only receive three to six hours of electricity as the Strip's only power generator was closed in August.

The blockade has devastated the coastal enclave’s economy, costing as much as $16 billion in economic losses.

Asian Image:

(Pictures copyright: Saeb Naseer)

Saeb added: “They kill journalists who speak the truth, for example Yaser Mortaja who was killed by a sniper while he was at work.

“This brutal occupation targets children, teachers and scientists including normal peace loving people to scare us into submission. They don’t want us to be educated as they prefer that we remain ignorant.

“My family members have suffered through this brutal occupation and I was also targeted by a sniper, but we will not surrender, we will keep going until Palestine is free.”