Conflict, death, bombings, war, and fear are some of the words that come to mind when thinking about the Gaza Strip. Stripping all that aside, a local surfer and his friends, were so inspired by surfing that they have adapted this global sport as a way to build and surf their own dreams. Mohammed is a prime example of someone making the best of life and focussing on spending his time with the people who make him happy, and activities that make him happy. Enjoying a piece of the Mediterranean Sea, Mohammed is one of the many surfers who have benefitted from the Surfing 4 Peace project that was launched by Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz (1921-2014) that looks to bridge cultural and political barriers in the Middle East. In the words of the late surfer, "those who can surf together, can live together.
Name: Mohammed Bashir El-Mashharawi
Date of Birth: 07.04.1993
Height: 6'0" (1.83 m)
Location: Palestine – Gaza Strip
Local Break: Gaza Strip
Countries Surfed: Just in Gaza Strip
Experience (Years): 9 Years
Inspirations: My friends
How did you get into surfing?
I was working as a volunteer by the sea as a lifeguard, and I saw my friends surfing with foreign people in the sea, and when I asked them about this sport they encouraged me to learn it.
Can you give us an idea of what your typical meals in a day would be?
Common dish? It's something the surf and sea have in common... it's FISH! Usually, I get it by fishing my meal with my friends.
Do you do any stretches or exercises pre-surf or post-surf?
I watch videos from YouTube of surfing competition and study international surfers to learn some movements (and exercises) from them.
What do you grab for a post-surf snack?
Some Candy 🙂
What’s your favourite gear?
I like all surfing gear but I favourite is my small board. Also, keep in mind that in my country, Gaza, there are no surf shops.
All our surf gear is provided to us through donations by Arab-Muslims from the U.S.A and from the Surfing 4 Peace Project. The project was a program introduced by Doc to our country and is a, "person to person and cross-border cooperation initiative that aims to bridge cultural and political barriers between surfers in the Middle East." Together with One Voice, this project brought donated surf items to the region where surfers can build our own community and be symbols for Surfing 4 Peace.