Mansour Shouman gives first hand accounts on the siege on Palestine

Palestinian-Canadian journalist, Mansour Shouman provided harrowing first-hand experience and accounts of the plight of the Palestinian people and the siege on Gaza. Picture: Yasmine Jacobs / IOL

Palestinian-Canadian journalist, Mansour Shouman provided harrowing first-hand experience and accounts of the plight of the Palestinian people and the siege on Gaza. Picture: Yasmine Jacobs / IOL

Published Mar 25, 2024


Palestinian-Canadian journalist, Mansour Shouman gave members of the public in Cape Town first-hand experience and accounts of the plight of the Palestinian people and the siege on Gaza.

The war has been going on for over six months. According to the latest statistics by Gaza Ministry of Health, 31,988 Palestinians have been killed, 74,188 wounded and 7,000 are feared missing or under the rubble.

Shouman shared his experience at a discussion held by Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC Cape Town) on Friday.

The event featured a compelling talk and panel discussion moderated by Atiyyah Khan, with esteemed panellists such as author and award-winning journalist Zubeida Jaffer and founding editor of Muslim Views, Farid Sayed.

“Despite the killing of journalists by the Israeli war machine, Mansour Shouman defiantly reported to the world the savage effects of Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people," said Usuf Chikte of PSC Cape Town.

‘Gaza is home’

After giving a thorough background into who he is and revealing his Jerusalem passport was wrongfully revoked, he explained his love for Gaza.

"Gaza was our home for two years. Yes, there were difficulties but despite that, we loved Gaza, because it was home. And everything changed on October 7th.“

Shouman said that when the first strike happened, he knew that this was not going to be like the other attacks.

From October 7, the lives of over two million Palestinians changed, with each person trying their best to get through each day under enormous difficulties.

“We thought the hospitals were a safe zone, but alas, we were wrong. They attacked and took over the hospital,” said Shouman.

He described the propaganda being in full force by the Israeli government and the Israeli Defence Force (IDF).

How Mansour Shouman embraced social media

Shouman said he had done countless interviews on live television so when a fellow journalist suggested he use TikTok to distribute information, he was a bit sceptical at first.

“I asked him ‘but isn’t this the app where teenagers dance to music and sing?’. He said ‘the generation (on social media) is different. They are the ones saying Free Palestine.”

Shouman and other other journalists’ main focus was positive messaging to encourage everyday people on how to help the Palestinians.

But while social media has helped more information to get out to more people, it may have its downside.

“You have to be offline if you want to move. That’s why we went off social.

Shouman revealed how and why he “disappeared off social media” on two occasions. The first time he was on a project and the second time, he didnt want to be caught and “humiliated” so he said he “postponed going against the IDF” for the time being.

In addition to not getting caught due to preventative measures, Shouman often speaks about “glad tidings” from God.

“All it would take for them to catch us, is just one person turning around or going into the room we were in. But just when they would enter the room, they would be called and told that no one is in the room. These are the glad tidings.”

Mansour Shouman speaks out on South Africa

Shouman praised South Africa and South Africans for the actions it is taking over the plight of Palestinians.

He spoke about how the plight of Palestinians and the plight of South Africans during apartheid were similar.

“South Africa is leading the free world right now. Thank you, South Africa for what you did at the ICJ (International Court of Justice). Don’t stop. Keep speaking out.”

What is the average day like in Gaza?

During the panel discussion, Shouman also spoke about what the average day looks like in Gaza.

“The day starts off with prayer in congregation in the morning. Then like a bee hive, everyone gets to work. I describe it like a bee hive because everyone has a role to play, and everyone knows what their role is.

“Palestinians didn’t and still don’t have time to reflect, we just need to act. It is a constant fight-or-flight mode.

“We were fasting way before Ramadan started. We had one meal a day and we would share food. If allowed, all the food trucks (outside the Rafah border) would be able to help all of Gaza within days,” he revealed.

Journalists in Palestine

If not for the journalists and content creators, the worldwide community would not know what is really happening in the walls of Gaza. They have faced so many obstacles, from outages to death threats and threats to their families.

“Hospitals have generators and fuel. That’s why journalists and social media influencers take refuge in hospital. But 99% of people would have access to that. Many times, we have an important story to tell, and there would be an electricity or internet outage.

Shouman emphasised that they don’t do this for the glory.

“We do not do this to be famous or for the money. We do this to let the world know what is happening. It’s to tell the world the plight of the Palestinian people and to tell everyone about our values.”

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