Episode 2 – Gaza Welcomes Denny – recalls his arrival in Gaza on March 29, 2014 and his first experiences of life in Gaza before the Israeli attack that began on July 7, 2014.
On March 29, 2014, Denny Cormier, an American human rights activist and citizen journalist, crossed the border from Egypt into Gaza. He began a journey which reveals a world that is hidden from most Americans and from most other world citizens who live outside the fences, barricades, military outposts and gunboats that surround Gaza.
The siege and blockade of Gaza have minimized its contact with the outside world. Although that situation is rapidly changing, for most people Gaza is a place of mystery and myths – and a very false narrative.
The existing narrative has been dominated by a huge Israeli media and public relations machine. Sadly, Israel has made every effort to dehumanize a beautiful people and to justify the destruction of a beautiful place – to characterize Palestinians and their government as a people who are a threat to the outside world – to characterize Gaza as a place where terrorism is birthed.
That is not what Denny found in Gaza.
Gaza Through My Eyes is a series of short documentaries that will share a number of his experiences during the past year as an eye witness living on the ground in Gaza. It is a series of stories that will be told during the coming weeks and months in a number of episodes – each focusing on different realities of life in Gaza and each focusing on Denny’s ongoing experiences living among the Palestinians.
The series will focus on all aspects of life in Gaza – and that, we believe is a rather unique approach. There is great suffering in Gaza, but there is also vibrant life and vitality. A Palestinian said it best when she said – We Teach Life, Sir.
Episode 1 was released on January 1, 2015 – and a number of additional episodes will be released during the coming weeks and months.
Denny has a story too, including his experiences while living in Gaza during the 50 day attack the Israel named Operation Protective Edge. During the attacks Deny reported on those experiences using live streaming, Facebook and Twitter. He chose not to leave Gaza. He chose to stay with his friends – as a supporter and a witness. Many of those 50 days were spent at Al Shifa Hospital – reporting on the war, meeting displaced people and families, acting as a human shield – a witness to what he has described as horrific, barbaric in its intensity.
Gaza Through My Eyes is a series of short documentaries about this journey – what an American found in Gaza from the moment he arrived in 2013 and again in 2014 – what he has come to love and to treasure.
Part 1 was filmed during December 2014 and was released on January 1, 2015.
Gaza Through My Eyes – An American Journey to Gaza (the series) is conceived, written, directed, filmed, edited and produced by a group of young Palestinian students and activists in cooperation with the Youth Media Center in Gaza – and with Denny’s active participation and support.
Here are the Credits for Episode 2 –
Nader R. Abdelnaby
Islamic University of Gaza Studios
The Kids appearing in the video
Special Thanks To
Dr. Raed Salha
Director of the Public Relation Department
Islamic University of Gaza
Produced in cooperation with
Youth Media Center – Gaza
Nader R. Abdelnaby
Scenario Writer and Director
Amal M. Hmaid
Denny is a social media activist, writer, photographer, teacher and story teller who has been living in Gaza since March 2015. For an ongoing and daily account of his journey to Gaza, you can visit the following resources –
Denny Cormier on Facebook
Gaza Through My Eyes on Facebook
Eyes on Gaza on Facebook
1000 Voices for Gaza on Facebook
Denny Cormier on Twitter
Gaza Through My Eyes – Episode 1