since october 2023,
The killing of Gazan journalists by the IDF has reached unprecedented levels. Without them, the story of what’s happening in Gaza may never be told. That’s why our campaign is so important.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Visit Gaza” Campaign Unveiled: Shedding Light on the “Home Away From Home”
12-22-2023 – Today marks the launch of “Visit Gaza,” a compelling endeavor to highlight the untold story of the Palestinian people mired in a prolonged conflict and restrictive living conditions at the hands of an occupying power. The campaign draws attention to the 50-year illegal occupation and 15-year blockade of Gaza, which has been described as “the world’s largest open-air prison” due to restrictions imposed by the Israeli military.
“Visit Gaza” draws inspiration from traditional travel advertisements but takes a different approach. The initiative is designed to shed light on the paradox between the inherent beauty of this coastal enclave and the grim reality faced by its over 2 million residents, 70% of whom are refugees or their descendants from other towns in Palestine.
“While Gaza possesses the captivating allure of a Mediterranean haven, the lived experience for its inhabitants is drastically different. ‘Visit Gaza’ is more than a campaign; it’s a narrative that exposes the disparity between potential and reality, inviting the world to acknowledge the impact of prolonged restrictions on the lives of those within,” stated Rameez Abid, Director of Operations, ICNA Council for Social Justice (ICNACSJ), on the driving force behind the campaign.
A 25 mile strip of land along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Gaza has been under a land, sea and air blockade since 2007, with Israel maintaining control of the flow of essential needs such as food, water, electricity, fuel and medicine into the region and even restricting and managing the movement of its residents into and out of the area. The blockade has precipitated a severe humanitarian crisis, violates fundamental human rights and impedes the realization of justice for the Palestinian people.
The forced expulsion and displacement of 750,000 Palestinians in 1948 at the hands of the Israeli military has made Gaza “home away from home” for many who originally hail from towns like Yaffa and Haifa in historic Palestine and now live in places like Jabalia and Khan Younis refugee camps. The act of being forced to flee their original homes, coupled with the inhumane restrictions, highlights the tragic irony of Palestinians becoming refugees within the borders of their own homeland.
The situation has become exacerbated in recent weeks by Israel’s continuous and indiscriminate bombardment of the civilian population, roads, schools and hospitals and its siege of Gaza. The death toll of civilians has reached 20,057 Palestinians (Over 70% women and children), with 53,320 injured. This further destruction and internal displacement has intensified the extreme vulnerability of Gazan residents as they endure the challenges of cramped living conditions and limited resources, and underscores the urgent need for a comprehensive resolution to address their plight and ensure their fundamental rights are upheld.
“Visit Gaza” leverages artistic and thought-provoking visuals to present a compelling contrast. The intent is not to promote actual travel to Gaza but rather to spotlight the human tragedy and suffering of the Palestinian people due to years of apartheid-level restrictions, militarized occupation and violent dispossession and conflict.
“By showcasing the stark contrast between seeking out travel to a desired destination and the lived reality of its people, ‘Visit Gaza’ strives to create a platform for awareness and empathy, urging a closer examination of the daily struggles faced by the people of Gaza,” added Abid. “We remain steadfast in advocating for a just and lasting solution to this humanitarian crisis.”
The campaign hopes to encourage dialogue, understanding and recognition of the challenges faced by the population. Through a unique lens, it intends to amplify the voices and stories often unheard in the broader conversation about this region.
The campaign will be featured across various advertising platforms in major American cities beginning December, 2023.
For more information on the “Visit Gaza” campaign, to view the thought-provoking visuals and to learn more about the reality of Gaza visit http://www.VisitGaza.com.
About the “Visit Gaza” Campaign
The “Visit Gaza” campaign is a non-traditional ad initiative that seeks to spotlight the human impact of a 50-year occupation and a 15-year blockade on the residents of Gaza. Through artistic representation and narrative, it aims to draw attention to the stark contrast between the potential of this coastal enclave and the daily struggles faced by its people.
ICNA Council for Social Justice (ICNACSJ) is a social justice/human rights organization that strives to systematically facilitate assertive Muslim involvement in the field of human struggle for the rights of the poor and oppressed in the United States.
ICNACSJ is a member organization of the American Muslim Task Force for Palestine
Director of Operations, ICNA Council for Social Justice
PO Box 8411
Reston, VA 20195