Gaza's remaining young voices after Motaz Azaiza and Plestia Alaqad: Who is Bisan Owda, Hind Khoudary, and Doaa Albaz?

Gaza's remaining young voices after Motaz Azaiza and Plestia Alaqad: Who is Bisan Owda, Hind Khoudary, and Doaa Albaz?
Bisan and Plestia, young Palestinian women journalists, use social media to expose Gaza's reality under Israeli attacks targeting journalists and civilians.
6 min read
15 February, 2024
Bisan Owda, Hind Khoudary and Plestia Alaqad (Left to-right, Instagram/Getty Composite by TNA)

Rising female Palestinian voices, Bisan Owda, Hind Khudary and and Plestia Alaqad, have emerged from Gaza, wielding storytelling to illuminate realities often unseen and unheard in the course of Israel's genocidal war on their homeland, in which Israel has deliberately targeted journalists.

While their journeys began separately, remarkable similarities bind their paths, painting a portrait of resilience, courage, and unwavering commitment to telling the story of the atrocities Gaza, drowned out by Western media pro-Israel bias.

Owda, Khoudary and Alaqad gained international recognition for their firsthand accounts of life during the conflicts in Gaza.

Bisan, Hind, Plestia, Motaz Azaiza, a young man also from Gaza, are among a new generation of journalists speaking to the world in Arabic and English through social media.

Plestia evacuated from Gaza in November and Motaz Azaiza left in January, but Owda and Khoudary remain in Gaza at the time of writing.

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Who is Bisan Owda?

Owda is a 24-year old Palestinian filmmaker. Through her poignant social media videos starting with the chilling "I'm still alive," she offers glimpses into the daily anxieties and struggles under siege.

Armed with her camera and unwavering spirit, Owda's raw and unfiltered portrayals of life under siege in Gaza garnered international attention.

Major news outlets, including BBC News, Al Jazeera, and ABC News, shared her work, propelling her into the spotlight as a chronicler of a complex and often misunderstood narrative.

Bisan Owda, known as 'Hakawatia'--[The Storyteller] for her captivating historical narratives, now paints a grimmer picture on social media - the stark reality of life under Israeli bombardment in Gaza.

Gone are the tales of cultural heritage, replaced by harrowing messages: "Peace be upon you. I'm Bisan from Gaza, Palestine. Thank God I'm still alive." The 24-year-old's life, like countless others, has been upended by the month-long conflict.

At the start of the war, Israeli airstrikes targeted her office and equipment, forcing her and her family to seek refuge in the crowded Al-Shifa Medical Complex.

Undeterred, Bisan uses her phone to document the war's toll - destroyed buildings, displaced families, and the tragic loss of over 28,000 lives.

Amidst the scenes of devastation, flickers of hope emerge in her reporting despite everything. Children diligently cleaning the bombed-out hospital and an elderly woman's unwavering resilience offer solace. But the ever-present threat of Israeli attacks looms large.

The children of Gaza, its stones, its sea, its buildings, its residents, and every grain of soil in it - these are the subjects of her stories. 

Despite the nightmares, the constant fear, and the ever-present danger, Bisan persists. She moves between the rubble and the fallen, capturing the human cost of the conflict in audio and video.


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Who is Hind Khoudary?

Hind Khoudary, a 29-year-old Palestinian journalist from the Gaza Strip, has also earned widespread recognition for her work documenting life under siege and war in Gaza.

Her career path winds through various publications, including The New Arab, the Middle East Eye, Anadolu Agency, and +972 Magazine. Previously, she contributed to RT. Her online presence on platforms like Twitter and Instagram has garnered attention, with her posts cited by The New York Times, NPR, and Utusan Malaysia.

Khoudary's human rights advocacy led her to work with Amnesty International in 2019. During the Great March of Return protests in 2018, she documented the events and reported on human rights concerns. She was briefly detained and interrogated by Hamas, the ruling authority in Gaza, for her work.

Khoudary continues to shine a light on the lives and experiences of Palestinians living in Gaza, highlighting the ongoing impact of Israel's genocidal war. 

Who is Plestia Alaqad?

Plestia Alaqad is 22 years old. Utilizing platforms like Instagram, she shares personal narratives that resonate deeply, humanizing the cost of conflict for global audiences.

Since before the current war, Owda, leveraging her platform, has become a powerful advocate for human rights, gender equality, and youth empowerment. Partnering with organizations like UNFPA and UN Women. She has tackled social issues and inspired others to find their voices.

Graduating in 2022 with a degree in Communication and Media Studies, Alaqad worked freelance and served as editor-in-chief of her university newspaper, gaining valuable experience. 

She previously trained media professionals and participated in eco-journalism workshops. Her dedication garnered recognition from international media outlets like SBS News and Outlook India.

Alaqad fled the Gaza Strip via Egypt. She is now in Australia.

Alaqad, who garnered a following of 3.9 million on Instagram documenting the plight of Palestinians under Israeli occupation, announced her departure in November after 46 days of sharing videos and photos from the besieged territory.

"The decision is far from easy," she said in a video message.

"Leaving my family, home, and people is difficult, but my presence has become a threat."

Alaqad's flight came amid a surge in violence against journalists. Since the war began in October, over 119 journalists and media workers have been killed in Gaza -- amounting to more than one journalist a day, according to the International Federation of Journalists -- in addition to three Lebanese journalists in South Lebanon by Israeli fire.

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate accuses Israeli forces of deliberately targeting media personnel.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned the attacks, calling it the deadliest period for journalists in the organization's 30-year history of monitoring conflicts.

Who is Doaa Albaz?

Doaa Albaz, a photojournalist working for Anadolu agency, continues to take pictures documenting the war as well.

Born in Gaza in 1989, she has been covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for several years, She studied journalism at the Islamic University of Gaza and began working as a photojournalist in 2010. She has covered a wide range of stories in Gaza, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the humanitarian crisis, and the daily lives of Palestinians.

In 2016, she was awarded the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award. She was also a finalist for the 2017 Rory Peck Award for Freelance Photojournalism.


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This article has been updated with a profile of Hind Khoudary and Doaa Albaz. Are there more young voices from Gaza you think we should profile? Email