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Tuesday May 21, 2024

Palestine's Motaz Azaiza makes it to '100 most influential people of 2024'

Time Magazine lauds Motaz for acting as world's "eyes and ears" in Gaza amid Israeli onslaught

By Web Desk
April 18, 2024
Palestinian photographer Motaz Azaiza looks on as he covers Israels war on Gaza. — X/@azaizamotaz9/File
Palestinian photographer Motaz Azaiza looks on as he covers Israel's war on Gaza. — X/@azaizamotaz9/File

World renowned Time Magazine has named Palestinian photographer Motaz Azaiza among the "‘The 100 Most Influential People Of 2024" for his selfless service in covering the ongoing war in Gaza.

Placing Azaiza in the "Icons" category, the publication lauded him for acting as the world's "eyes and ears" and providing the people with an insight into what was going on in the besieged territory for 108 days amid Israel's measures barring international journalists from the war zone.

"Armed with a camera and a flak jacket marked ‘PRESS,’ the 25-year-old Palestinian photographer spent nearly four months documenting life under Israeli bombardment: families displaced from homes, women mourning loved ones, a man trapped beneath the rubble," it said.

Acknowledging the Time's announcement, the journalist said he was really blessed to share his country’s name with him wherever he went or whatever he achieved.

"For those who don't recognise Palestine as a state, or for those who claim that it is their land. Palestine gonna be free one day from Zionists and occupation. Everyone does his part, and my part is not done yet," he wrote on his social media account.

— X/@azaizamotaz9
— X/@azaizamotaz9

He has 18.2 million followers on Instagram and about 1.1 million on X.

Time said Azaiza reported from the war-torn areas at great risk as more than 95 journalists have been slayed by Israel in the besieged enclave since October 7, which has been the deadliest period for the press since 1992, when the Committee to Protect Journalists started tracking fatalities. Scores of other media persons have been injured or arrested by the Israeli occupational forces in the Gaza Strip.

The magazine said since evacuating Gaza, the photojournalist has started raising awareness of the Middle East crisis worldwide.

It quoted the Palestinian journalist as saying: “What is happening in Gaza is not content for you. We are not telling you what is happening ... for your likes or views or shares. No, we are waiting for you to act. We need to stop this war.”

A couple of weeks ago, Azaiza met US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib at her office.

"We talked a lot about our struggles as Palestinians and her work in the congress. Palestinians will keep resisting till we get our freedom. Everyone has his own battle !! We are making changes and people started to understand and be aware about what’s really happening," he wrote.

The journalist has been actively vocal about the catastrophic consequences of Israel's onslaught on Gaza and has time again expressed concern for his own life due to Israeli forces' aggressive tactics in the beleaguered territory.

— @azaizamotaz9
— @azaizamotaz9