Gaza – a strip of land with a population of 1.7 million citizens, wedged between Israel and Egypt and isolated from the outside world. 26 miles of coastline with a harbor that no longer services ships. Hardly anything gets into Gaza and even less gets out. The young generation is growing up with very little perspective – occupied and jobless.
But against this background there is a small movement building up.
Our protagonists are part of the surf community of Gaza City. Round about 40 surfboards have been brought into the country over the past decades with great effort and despite strict sanctions.
It is those boards that give them an opportunity to experience a small slice of freedom – between the coastal reminder of a depressing reality and the Israeli-controlled three-mile marine border.
“I’ve been working in this area since I was born. The kids used to surf on pieces of wood from a closet or a table for example, any piece of wood. Today children come to us to learn surfing. They are all friends, neighbors or our own kids and we teach them what we can with our limited resources.” – Abu Jayab
“Once, Gaza was one of the best places in the world. And now it’s one of the worst, but this situation won’t last forever. It will change one day for sure and be better than before.” – Ibrahim
“Once, I swam wearing the scarf and it choked me… It was tied on my neck, so I removed it and swam without it. My cousins asked me why I’d swim without a head scarf. I told them it’s my business whether I wear it or not. I don’t like it when people interfere in other people’s business. It’s my personal decision. They’d say it’s forbidden, it’s haram (a sin).” – Sabah
Directed by: Philip Gnadt, Mickey Yamine
Produced by: Little Bridge Pictures