AC Angie Chang
Every morning, people check their feed in the hopes of finding something from Bisan. Their stomachs tighten until she appears. Bisan Owda, or wizard_bisan1, as her 2 million followers know her, was a filmmaker before the assault on Gaza began. In a video from October 12, she offers footage of her prewar office. It looks like a typical millennial media workspace: camcorders, whiteboards, couches, a fluffy cat napping across a desk. She has discovered the office was bombed. “I know it’s not a suitable time to talk about places and homes because people are losing their lives,” she says in the video, her eyes welling. ‘‘People are being killed.” Even within Gaza, there’s a hierarchy of suffering. Some of her videos are in Arabic, but most are in English. That way, from Gaza she can reach the previously unreachable — that is, the West. Every morning, I check my feed in the hopes of finding something from Bisan. My stomach tightens with each scroll until she appears. “I’m still alive,” she usually begins. Alongside Owda on Instagram are 22-year-old Plestia Alaqad and 24-year-old Motaz Azaiza, both journalists livestreaming the war. In a video from October 9, Alaqad shows us the view from her neighbor’s balcony. “There is no view,” she says, panning across hazy silhouettes of buildings through the dust. Her shoulder-length hair often blows in the wind created by explosions that you can hear in the background. In Azaiza’s videos, he acknowledges the shame of filming his fellow Gazans during their most devastating moments. In a particularly haunting video, a little boy sits shaking in what appears to be a hospital, though no doctors are present. The camera pans to a boy next to him with a bandaged head and burn marks up and down his arms. The scene plays over and over in my mind.
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