The Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate praised the widespread magazine GQ Middle East for choosing Palestinian photojournalist Moath Al-Azzayza, residing in Gaza, as the Man of the Year, describing it as an achievement and triumph for the Palestinian narrative and Palestinian journalists.
This came in a statement by the head of the Freedom Committee, Mohamed Al-Lahham, during a meeting of the journalistic cadre in Bethlehem, where Al-Lahham praised this award for journalist Al-Azzayza, who lost about 20 of his relatives in the recent Israeli aggression on Gaza.
Al-Lahham reviewed the career of photojournalist Muath Hilal Mohammed Al-Azzayza (24 years old). He is a journalist and activist influential on social media, born in Deir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip. He graduated from Al-Azhar University in 2021 with a major in English language and media. He worked as a photographer with the American ABC News channel and is currently a volunteer with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.
Al-Lahham appreciated the step taken by GQ Middle East, launched in 2018 as an international version of the American magazine "GQ," considering this award for every Palestinian journalist who was martyred, injured, or arrested in order to convey the truth. It is also for colleagues in the field who face a series of risks and the terrorist occupation seeking to obscure the truth.
Al-Lahham pointed out that journalist Al-Azzayza was among a group of journalists monitored by the Freedom Committee, documenting the serious Israeli violations against him when he received many threatening messages, including voice calls from Israeli officers. Muath revealed through Instagram Stories a phone call in which he received threats and was asked not to return to the north after he had moved with the people to the south of the Gaza Strip. He posted a video documenting the threatening call on his Instagram account.
Al-Lahham emphasized the importance of social media platforms in promoting the Palestinian narrative, which is characterized by professionalism and credibility. This is evident in the work of Al-Azzayza, who has about 15 million followers on Instagram, with millions of views on TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms. This has positioned Al-Azzayza at the forefront of GQ magazine, which previously selected global stars for this title and place, such as international star Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian national team and Liverpool FC player, and others in politics, business, sports, culture, and art.
Throughout the Israeli aggression, Al-Azzayza's name jumped into the spotlight as he worked diligently and at risk to convey the suffering of the people of Gaza due to the war waged by the Israeli occupation on the Strip. He gained massive interaction and global follow-up through social media.
GQ Middle East described Al-Azzayza in a post on Instagram, stating, "Al-Azzayza's work embodies the power of digital activity, alongside his humanity, reminding us that courage appears in various forms. Sometimes we choose it, and sometimes it chooses us. In the case of Al-Azzayza, the choice was not even an option." The magazine continued, “This year, we canceled our categories, and with Al-Azzayza among us, our choice carries more weight than ever. Like his counterparts on the ground in Gaza, Al-Azzayza reminds us that regardless of who we are or where we come from, we, ordinary people, men and women, have the ability to make the change we want to see.”
The magazine's team wished safety for Al-Azzayza, concluding the post: "As he continues to speak the truth courageously to the extreme, we pray for his safety and the safety of those around him. The magazine included in its honor all those who are not afraid to speak the truth and possess unprecedented strength, such as Balastia Al-Aqad, Hind Khadri, Wael Al-Dahdouh, Essam Abdullah, Sherine Abu Aqila, and countless names we know and those we do not know.