Film about Gaza premiers in Cape Town

Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman with Ahmad Ghunaim. Picture: Mandilakhe Tshwete

Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman with Ahmad Ghunaim. Picture: Mandilakhe Tshwete

Published Apr 16, 2024


Cape Town - A documentary of a vlogger who shares his first-hand experience of the war in Gaza has premiered in a packed Nu Metro cinema in Canal Walk.

Before the genocide of Palestinians started on October 7, Ahmad Ghunaim dreamed of travelling the world, but that changed after his home was bombed.

Ghunaim is a Palestinian refugee. He is 24. He fled to South Africa after his home was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike.

At the start of all his videos, Ghunaim says: “Hi, my name is Ahmad, and I’m still alive.”

The documentary was then titled, Ahmad Alive.

Currently running at cinemas, the documentary first shows Gaza citizens and how they are surviving the war, with some demonstrating how they make their own bread and a 15-year-old boy producing electricity from scraps he found.

Ghunaim is then shown as a hopeful teenager who has a love for photography and vlogging.

After the bombing and the ban on foreign journalists, he decided to illustrate what was happening through his cellphone.

He decided to leave his family in Nuseirat and travelled to Deir el balah, and then Khan Yunis.

He was in Rafah when he saw the South African Government taking Israel to the International Court of Justice.

He then decided to go to Egypt and paid an exorbitant sum of money to cross the border.

Ghunaim said: “When people shared about the things happening there, we didn’t think that we were getting support. We didn’t think it made a difference, but it did.

“We made a big noise about it and the whole world can hear us now. This is not the first war, but a few people knew about them. However, this war is completely different because the whole world is speaking, sharing what is happening there.

“The only thing I’m thinking about now is evacuating my family from Gaza because they are in a school which has already been bombed.

“They are stuck there and can’t go out. I’m waiting for the moment they move to Rafah to try to get them out of there, but all of that needs a lot of money. I paid $33 702 (R641 000) to get out of Gaza.

“I will only go back to Gaza when the war ends.”

Impressed with the turnout at the cinema, co-founder of Seen TV, Yusuf Omar, said South Africans showed up like no other country when it came to Palestine.

“We recognise apartheid and fight it where we can. We sold out in 48 hours in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. The people in Cape Town have called for boycotts and the end to Israeli apartheid and political action and most importantly they want to hear from Palestinians who are on the ground about the realities that are taking place, so we can educate the people around the world about what’s really going on there.”

He said the proceeds of the documentary will go to the Gift of the Givers to procure essential medical supplies, life-saving medications, wheelchairs and other supplies.

[email protected]