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From Screen to Pitch: The Different Shapes of Activism for the Palestinian Cause

May 19, 2021
Different Forms of Activism

In times of crisis, social media users often speak their mind in a variety of ways. Some outspokenly talk and raise awareness by creating written content and making videos, others use different ways of communication such as designing, singing, and taking pictures. Here are six different types of activism you often encounter on social media when supporting Palestine.


1. Written and Spoken Online Activism

The most common form of activism takes the shape of spoken or written reports made by social media platform users to voice their opinions.

Muhammed El-Kurd, Mariam El-Barghouti, Marwan Abdelhamid, and Subhi are examples of Palestinian activists who dedicate their presence on social media to writing, voicing their opinions, and reporting what is happening in Palestine. El-Kurd and El-Barghouti appeared on talk shows on  US media outlets CNN to engage in discussions on Palestine.


2. Illustrations

Cartoonists, illustrators, and graphic designers also provide another type of activism by using their talent to express their solidarity with Palestine. Egyptian Doaa El-Adl, a cartoonist, gave the words “from Cairo, this is Palestine” an artistic twist in one of her latest illustrations, echoing the famous radio announcement “Huna al-Qahera”.


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A post shared by Doaa Eladl (@doaa.eladl.cartoon)

Another design illustrated by Nouran Abed quoted a resounding line spoken by activist and writer Mohamed El-Kurd in an interview with CNN: “do you support the violent dispossession of me and my family?”


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A post shared by @nouranabedd

Other artists use their platform to raise awareness on Palestinian cultural icons. Ranyyah Essam is an illustrator who explained the meaning behind the design of the Palestinian kufiya through an imagined conversation between two characters.


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A post shared by Ranya Essam ART ® (@ro_esam)

3. Photography

Frames taken in Palestine by Mohamed Zaanoun, a Gaza-based photojournalist, not only depict the impact of Israeli strikes on Gaza, but the aftermath of the strikes.

The photographs Zaanoun shares on his account portray how Palestinians are surviving in bombed Gaza by sleeping on couches, building demolition debris, as well as live footage of bombings.


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A post shared by Mohammed Zaanoun (@m.z.gaza)

4. Music

Shabjdeed is a Palestinian rapper who has been writing/producing songs about Palestine for years; he collaborated with another Palestinian rapper, Dabbour for a song named “Inn Ann,” talking about Palestine, the persistence and bravery of Palestinians.

Inn Ann Official Video Clip
Official Video Clip of “Inn Ann” on YouTube

Dabbour also released a song named “Sheikh Jarrah” that talks about the forced evictions and the assaults against Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in East Jerusalem.

MC Abdul, a 12-year old Palestinian rapper, also posted a video of himself rapping amid the ruins of demolished buildings while wearing the Palestinian kufiya. The video went viral on YouTube with more than 80,000 views so far.

5. Short Videos

“My Favourite Part of My House” a short, 1-minute, video created by the Palestinian filmmaker Omar Rammal, which depicts a Palestinian family speaking about their favourite place in their homes with actors in the background taking away and packing their belongings.

The symbolism behind this video is reflected in how fast the Palestinians’ homes are being taken away while they are speaking. Rammal posted this short video on his Instagram account with a caption that reads: “The place…the place is us. Existence.. Memories.. Our future plans,”


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A post shared by Omar Rammal (@omar_rammal)

6. Raising the Palestinian Flag in Football Matches

Arab and Non-Arab celebrities such as Tamer Hosney, Mark Ruffalo, Halsey, Ahmed Helmy, and Susan Sarandon, have used their platforms on social media to stand with Palestinians and share trending hashtags in their support.

Bella and Gigi Hadid, supermodels of Palestinian origin, have participated in protests in New York while wearing the Palestinian kufiya.

One of the fields that caused ripples and controversy for displays of symbolic activism is football, the world’s most watched sport. Players have been able to express their solidarity by raising the Palestinian flag after matches. Manchester United players, Paul Pogba and Amad Diallo waved a Palestinian flag brought into the stadium by a fan, after the English Premier League match against Fulham; they moved around the field while raising it to the audience.

Leicester City players Hamza Choudhury and Wesley Fofana, also raised the Palestinian flag on 15 May while receiving the cup after winning on Chelsea (1-0) in the FA Cup final match.

Egyptian footballer Mohamed Elnenny became a source of controversy after posting a tweet in which he expressed his solidarity with Palestine. His tweet, which included an image of the map of Palestine from river to sea, sparked outrage amongst Arsenal’s pro-Israel audience, creating tension between the club and the company Lavazza, one of its sponsors.

Manchester United Raising Palestinian Flag
Source: Ahram Online


Leicester City football players Hamza Choudhury and Wesley Fofana
Leicester City football players Hamza Choudhury and Wesley Fofana raise the Palestinian flag in FA Cup final cup, Source: Daily Mail

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