Dubai: Every person in Gaza is a story, says Palestinian content creator

Every time I record a video, I wonder if I will be martyred before I post it, Plestia said in a video message addressing the 1 Billion Followers Summit

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Nasreen Abdulla

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Palestinian content creator Plestia addressing attendees of the 1 Billion Followers Summit in Dubai on Wednesday. KT Photo & Video: Nasreen Abdulla
Palestinian content creator Plestia addressing attendees of the 1 Billion Followers Summit in Dubai on Wednesday. KT Photo & Video: Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Wed 10 Jan 2024, 10:35 PM

Last updated: Thu 11 Jan 2024, 2:40 PM

To be a content creator in Gaza is a task unlike any other, according to Palestinian content creator Plestia. The aspiring journalist, who has become one of the most influential voices during the Gaza conflict, was addressing attendees of the 1 Billion Followers Summit that kicked off in Dubai on Wednesday.

“I look for stories that provide hope,” she said speaking in Arabic. “Every person in Gaza is a story.”

Since October 7, the Israel offensive against Gaza has killed over 20,000 people, mostly women and children and millions have been displaced. During this time, content creators and journalists in the city have become influential voices telling the world of the atrocities that are taking place in the city.

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During the video message, Plestia also spoke about the challenges they faced. “We don’t have batteries or chargers,” she said. “We don’t know when we will get access to electricity. Internet access is almost impossible.”

She said the uncertainty of life glared at them in their faces every day. “Every time I record a video, I wonder if I will be martyred before I post it,” she said. “I have no way of keeping in touch with any of my friends or even knowing if they have survived through the night because there is no internet access. Most of the people, I know that they are alive when I bump into them coincidentally because Gaza Strip is such a small place.”

1 Billion Followers Summit

The second edition of the 1 Billion followers summit brought together over 190 speakers that have a combined following of 1.6 billion people. Over 100 activities, including keynotes, workshops, and panel discussions, will be held over two days where content creators will be able to learn several lessons including how to monetize, network and diversify their incomes.

The summit will see several prominent influencers like Khaby Lame and Europe's largest YouTube group, Sidemen. On the first day of the summit, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai allocated Dh150 million to support content creators.

He highlighted the importance of content creation as a tool that conveys the UAE’s story to the world, and a window into its traditions, cultural accomplishments, and the creativity of its new generations that turns ideas into reality and drives the progress of humanity.

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