Relaciones Internacionales – Comunicación Internacional

Armed with a camera in Gaza: Who is Yaser Murtaja?

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Middle East Monitor interviewed fallen Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja before he was killed. His colleagues at Ain Media worked with MEMO’s Jehan Alfarra to complete the feature in tribute to him and all Palestinian journalists.

What began as a hobby has taken Yaser Murtaja on a dangerous career path. An accountancy graduate turned video journalist, Yaser provided insight into an area marred by conflict and sealed away since 2007. Always carrying his camera and wearing a smile, the 30-year-old dedicated his life to telling the stories of fellow Palestinians living in Gaza.

MEMO spoke to Yaser about his journey and work as a journalist in the besieged Gaza Strip mere weeks before he was killed by Israeli snipers while covering mass Palestinian protests near Gaza’s eastern border.

Yaser’s first interaction with a camera was at 12 years old when his uncle came to visit. “He had a camera with him and I borrowed it and kept on shooting with it,” Yaser said. Having noticed Yaser’s passion for photography, his uncle gave him the camera as a gift.

“I started to photograph everything I came across; the house, the neighbourhood, nature,” he continued. “I simply could not put the camera down after that.”

One day whilst on his way to photograph a game of volleyball in his neighbourhood, Yaser heard a blast; it was an Israeli airstrike. He immediately changed route and went to film the bombing and the aftermath. “As I was filming, my camera fell and broke, but I salvaged the memory card and archived the material,” he said.



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