Taylor Swift recently got named “Person Of The Year” by Times magazine but what generated a real buzz was how many users photoshopped Palestinian journalist Motaz Azazia on the cover to say he is the true “Person Of The Year.” It is true during the ongoings of the Gaza genocide, many stood out as being heroic and worth getting coined such a big accolade. That is why we wanted to shed light on a collection of unsung heroes we believe deserve the accolade of “People Of The Year.”
Comedy & Television Industry: Bassem Youssef
Channeling his uncanny humor and sharp wit, Egyptian TV host and comedian Bassem Youssef took an unorthodox approach to speaking up for Palestine. He did it all, from a face-to-face debate with Pierce Morgan where he unashamedly used dark humor and political satire to prove the injustice of the genocide to performing a traditional Dabke and the song ‘Dammi Falestini’ at Australia’s prominent landmark, the Sydney Opera House.
Beauty Industry: Huda Kattan
The beauty guru and Iraqi-American entrepreneur Huda Kattan has been showcasing unwavering solidarity for the Palestinian people since the start of the genocide. From using her Instagram account to call for a ceasefire and an end to the violence to make a one million dollar donation in aid to Gaza, she has been taking big steps in supporting the resistance.
Reporting The Truth: Palestinian Journalists
Showcasing true heroism, young journalists in their twenties including Motaz Azazia, Plestia Alaqad, and Bisan Ouda covered what CNN and BBC couldn’t. They showed everything that is happening on-ground including destroyed hospitals as well as the displacement of thousands of Palestinians.
Inscriber Of The Truth: Mona Chalabi
The Palestinian data journalist and writer Mona Chalabi is one who does not shy away from uncovering the truth. Her published work includes illustrated charts that impart facts on many forms of injustice. Recently, she won a Pulitzer for an illustrated report on the immense wealth of Jeff Bezos yet turned it down and gave her prize money of $15,000 to a Palestinian journalists group to show her solidarity with Palestine.
Symbol Of Resistance: Ahed Tamimi
Known as the Palestinian teen who went viral in 2007 for slapping an Israeli soldier, Ahed Tamimi continues to be a symbol of resistance for the Palestinian people. Hailed as a hero, the young activist still continues to face hardships including getting arrested yet always manages to persist.
Comedy & Television Industry: Mo Amer
Turning his experience of displacement from Palestine into a full-fledged autobiographical show called ‘Mo’, Palestinian-American stand-up comedian Mo Amer chronicles his real-life struggle of navigating the asylum process in the US. Today, he’s standing up for Palestine by rallying in marches and giving heartfelt speeches.
Saving Lives: Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah
Leaving the comfort and safety of working in a private practice in London where he earned more than 6 figures every year, Palestinian-British Plastic Surgeon Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah chose to serve his own people in war-stricken Gaza, showcasing a true symbol of heroism.
Saving Lives: Dr. Ahmed Mokhalati
With only the help of a flashlight, plastic surgeon Dr. Ahmed Mofeed Mokhalati was one of the few sleepless doctors who performed surgeries in war-stricken Gaza. On only an average of 3 hours of sleep, on the daily, he’d treat patients with burns, head trauma as well as abdominal wounds.
A Voice For Unity: Nemahsis
Making waves all across TikTok and Instagram was Palestinian singer Nemah Hasan known as Nemahsis whose revamped rendition of Lorde’s “Team” made quite the impact. In her version, she captures the heartbreak of Palestinians’ struggle for liberation by having every lyric be paired with a video showing either the destruction of Palestine or what it looked like before the occupation. Her video helped shine an educational light on the plight of Palestinians.
These are merely a few of the thousands of honorable voices that took a stand, spoke up, and resisted the unjust genocide and destruction of Gaza.