What it takes for a woman to become a photojournalist in one of the most hostile locations in the world
Features Thursday, October 09, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | September 25, 2014 | 02:53 pm IST Eman Mohammed, one of the few women photojournalists in the Gaza Strip, Palestine, begun her career when she was 19. Her career choice was not welcomed by many, mostly by those of the opposite sex. In a video recently uploaded by TED on YouTube titled Eman Mohammed: The courage to tell a hidden story , Eman talks about her journey into what is considered a man's world, the struggles, humiliations, and constant threats she was subjected to, and yet how she stood tall in the face of her adversities. "They made clear that a woman must not do a man's job. Photo agencies in Gaza refused to train me because of my gender. The "No" sign was pretty clear", she says. Eman narrates an incident where three of her male colleagues took her to the site of an air strike. She realised in some time that they had no intention to report the strikes when the three went away, leaving her alone on the spot, amidst the explosion and the confusion. The men were 'waving and laughing' while driving back. Over the years, Eman has moved towards covering more of women's issue in the Gaza Strip. "To men, women's stories were seen as inconsequential", she says. "My work is not meant to hide the scars of war, but to show the full frame of unseen stories of Gazans. As a Palestinian female photographer, the journey of struggle, survival and everyday life has inspired me to overcome the community taboo and see a different side of war and its aftermath. I became a witness with a choice: to run away or stand still", says Eman. From being stranded at the spot of an air strike by her colleagues, to an air raid breaking her nose, and yet carrying on amidst the unwelcome atmosphere, Eman's story is of courage and strength, of a woman beating all odds stacked high against her, a story that is truly inspiring. Watch TED's video here.