Motaz Azaiza, the beloved 24-year-old Palestinian photojournalist who recently evacuated Gaza, opened up about an interview on Al Jazeera his decision to leave Gaza, sharing his feelings of guilt.
After 107 days of covering the devastation brought about by the war in Gaza, 24–year-old Azaiza announced he had made the heartbreaking decision to evacuate to Doha, Qatar, on Jan. 23 to his 18 million Instagram followers.
On Tuesday Jan. 30, he appeared on Al Jazeera’s The Stream program with host Anelise Borges.
In the interview, Azaiza said that the decision to leave Gaza wasn’t easy, admitting that he was afraid, but he was not ashamed of this.
He said he left because he needed to see why the rest of the world was not doing anything to stop Israel’s onslaught of Gaza.
“I reached a point where I couldn’t continue,” he said. “I did what I did and I showed the world, I reached millions of people around the world, but nobody stopped [the attacks],” he said.
“I spent more than a month sleeping on the streets. I didn’t go home to eat, shower, see my family. I was afraid that if I entered the house they will bomb the house because I’m the one who’s causing noise for them,” he told Borges.
“I have lost interest in my dreams,” he said. “Getting a new camera for me was a dream. Get a camera? I don’t care. You can travel? I don’t care.”
He said it was difficult to live a normal life after what he had witnessed and lost, from his friends to the places he used to visit in Gaza.
“I keep feeling guilty for anything, for the clean water I drink now here, for sitting in a nice couch, no drones above my head trying to kill me, not seeing bodies, not seeing human parts after Israeli airstrike, not seeing destruction. I feel guilty for this. I wish all my people to live lik that,” he said.
“You watch us getting killed, getting murdered in front of you and you like it? I don’t want your likes, I want you to act.” he said. “If you’re not going to act, we will keep making noise. We will not make this life easy for anyone.” Azaiza added.