Motaz Azaiza: A Palestinian Photojournalist Among Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2024

Palestinian photojournalist Motaz Azaiza has been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2024 by Time magazine. This recognition is a testament to his courage and dedication in documenting the harsh realities of life in Gaza under Israeli bombardment.

For 108 days, Azaiza, armed with a camera and a flak jacket marked “PRESS,” acted as the world’s eyes and ears in his native Gaza. His photographs provided an unparalleled glimpse into the lives of families displaced from their homes, women mourning their loved ones, and the struggle of a man trapped beneath the rubble. These images have been instrumental in raising global awareness about the crisis in Gaza.

Despite the immense risks involved, Azaiza continued his work in one of the most dangerous environments for journalists. Since October 7, more than 95 journalists have been killed in Gaza, marking the deadliest period for the press since 1992. Many more have been injured or arrested.

After evacuating Gaza in January, Azaiza’s role has shifted from documenting the crisis to advocating for international intervention. He has used his platform to call for action, stating, "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".

Azaiza’s influence extends beyond his photojournalism. With 18.2 million followers on Instagram and about 1.1 million on Twitter, he has used his social media platforms to continue raising awareness about the crisis in Gaza. His inclusion in Time’s ‘Icons’ category underscores the significant impact of his work.

In a recent meeting with US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, Azaiza discussed the struggles of Palestinians and the need for continued resistance. His commitment to his cause remains unwavering, as he stated, "Palestine gonna be free one day from Zionists and occupation. Everyone does his part, and my part is not done yet".

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