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IDFA - Gaza Surf Club

Young surfers cut off from the outside world in war-torn Gaza try to make their dreams come true.

Crammed into a dilapidated car, a group of young men with surfboards drive to the coast through the bombed-out streets of Gaza City. It’s a poignant picture that shows Palestinian youth trying against the odds to do something with their lives. Forty-two-year-old Abu Jayab taught many of them how to surf – in often dangerous circumstances and without the right gear. They’ve all been bitten by the surf bug.

“This beach is a prison,” says Abu, who has given up any hope of living in a time of peace. But Ibrahim is looking to the future. He wants to learn everything there is to know about surfing and making surfboards. He’s dreaming of going to Hawaii to visit his surf buddy Matthew, but first he needs to get a visa. And then there’s 15-year-old Sabah. She’s a talented surfer who’s not allowed in the water without a headscarf, according to Hamas rules. All these young people are trying to make their dreams come true in the depressing reality of the Gaza enclave.