‘It’s Ahmad, I’m alive’ – The four words that went viral as I showed the world the reality of Gaza

Israel told us to leave our area because they planned to bomb it, writes Ahmad Ghunaim. A whole week passed and nothing happened, so my family and I returned home. Then missiles hit our house with us all inside...

Monday 08 April 2024 15:31 BST
Ahmad Ghunaim in his ‘bedroom’ in Gaza after the bombing
Ahmad Ghunaim in his ‘bedroom’ in Gaza after the bombing (Ahmad Ghunaim)

On 7 March 1999 I took my first breath on this planet. I was blessed with a great childhood, and I dreamed of becoming a travel vlogger. But this dream was unreachable, because I live in the world’s largest open-air prison, Gaza, where travel is almost impossible.

I started painting the suffering of the Palestinian people and the beauty of my country. At the end of 2014, my artwork and hopes were destroyed after the Israeli occupation bombed our house and all my paintings disappeared. I remember that day well – I stood in front of the rubble of the house and cried over my paintings.

That’s when I decided to start vlogging – creating something no one could destroy. I couldn’t fulfil my dream of being a travel vlogger, so I decided to travel within Gaza instead; showing its beauty and rich history.

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