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Besides the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the internal political Palestinian divide (the Hamas and Fatah in-fight), the Gaza Strip is also suffering from a particular constraint that has isolated it physically from the rest of the world and affected all aspects of daily life there –be it economical, social, psychological, or political– which is the Israeli siege that was imposed on the strip in 2007.This isolation led to the creation of many wrong perceptions about Gaza. These include either of the following 3 extremes: a poor, constantly-bombed place that needs aid, a place full of terrorists that needs to be sanctioned, or a flourishing place with a media lie about a humanitarian crisis. Though on the inside, Gaza looks very different and has its good and bad.
The trade restrictions and economic collapse in Gaza with the export bans have caused a substantial rise in unemployment levels, frustration, and created an unprecedented level of corruption in NGO's with lots of international donations and aid that focus on providing a fish rather than a rod. This frustration, however, helped shape Palestinian creativity to overcome those by using the digital front to break the physical barriers, and to shout out "Aid? Why not trade???"
A DIGITAL SHIP FROM GAZA is an initiative that aims to:
1. Map out successful entrepreneurs in order to promote their basic human right to work, where they can export services online regardless of the physical blockade and export restrictions, and try to link them with organizations outside of Gaza that have an interest in employing them online.
2. Map out Gaza's existing network of social activists and bloggers to reveal the veiled face of a vibrant Gaza that has initiative, innovation, and drive.
3. Provide an insider look/guide to Gaza and show what Gaza and the people of Gaza are really like, away from media stereotypes.
Visit GazaDigital.com and take part!
Voice Over: Jehan Alfarra