Wael Dahdouh deserves Nobel Peace Prize
Jan. 11, 2024
When the dust settles in Gaza and the war comes to an end, the things the world will remember most about “Operation Al-Aqsa” will be: 1) Abu Obaida, 2) Wael Dahdouh, 3) the over 11,000 freed prisoners, and finally the over 100,000 of Palestinians who were killed, injured, and other still buried under the rebel as the ultimate price for the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli concentration camps.
I have to confess that before the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7, 2023. I never heard of Wael Dahdouh nor did I have a TV set for the last 14 years. However, since the war in Gaza started, my wife and I have been like everyone around the world, glued to Al-Jazeera Arabic TV. That is where I saw Wael Dahdouh for the first time. He was very good, knowledgeable, and very passionate about what is happening in Gaza. In fact, I can describe his reporting with three words: Lion of Gaza.
Dahdouh, 53, was born and raised in Gaza and lived in Tel Elhawa neighborhood east of Gaza City. He was active as student and never joined any military group or even owned a gun. Despite all of this, he was held up in an Israeli prison for seven years.
After college in 1998, he worked for various Palestinian news media and in 2004, Dahdouh landed a job with Al-Jazeera to the present where he serves as the network chief correspondent in Gaza.
During the last 96, I have seen him reporting from Gaza while the IOF were bombarding Gaza from sea, air, and ground. While reporting life on last October 26 (my twin sons’ birthday), he received news that he lost his wife, daughter, son, and grandson. After burying his loved ones, he went on the air next day to report about the war.
That was not the end of his misfortune. On December 15, he was the subject of targeted assassination by the IOF. Dahdouh was wounded by an Israeli air strike as he was reporting live. His cameraman Same Abu Dagga was seriously injured and bled to the death because the IOF prevented a Palestinian ambulance from reaching him and Dahdouh miraculously survived with minor injury.
Once again, he was on the air the day after. His oldest son Hamza, who is also a freelance journalist, wrote him a message on Jan. 6 on social media: “You are patient, father. Don’t lose faith in God’s mercy. Be certain that God will reward you because of your patience.”
On Jan 7, tragedy hit Dahdouh’s family again. His son Hamza Dahdouh, an Al Jazeera network journalist and cameraman, was killed along with other journalists while they were driving in a car along a road between Khan Younis and Rafah after they were hit by an airstrike.
Freelance journalist Mustafa Thuraya was also killed. A third journalist, Hazem Rajab, was seriously injured according to the January 8 report from the BBC. Again, Dahdouh reported to work the day after.
After burying his son Hamza, this heartbroken legend said, the world is blind to what is happening in Gaza, adding “I wish that the blood of my son Hamza is the last of journalists and the last of people here in Gaza and for this massacre to stop.” He promised to continue his son’s footsteps to show the world what is happening in Gaza.
The four other members of Wael Dahdouh’s family who have been killed: His wife Amna, his grandson Adam, his 15-year-old son Mahmoud, and seven-year-old daughter Sham were killed in an Israeli strike in Nuseirat refugee camp in October.
Wael Dahdouh earned the nickname Al Jabal (in Arabic: the mountain) due to his calm perseverance and he is now a household name all over the world. I can’t find the words to describe his resilience and the courage. Wael’s used his mic and camera as the only weapon to show the rest of the world about the suffering and pain of the Palestinian people. For that, I am nominating this legend to Nobel Peace Price.
Mahmoud El-Yousseph is a Palestinian freelance writer and retired USAF veteran. He could be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credit: omaralsayedos