Internet’s role in preserving Palestinian culture

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An image of a plate filled with two bread pieces called Taboon, four whole falafel and one cut in half, a scoop of hummus topped with cilantro, half of a tomato, three slices of cucumber, and three rectangles of pickles.
A beautiful Palestinian breakfast. Peteravivangel via Wikimedia Commons

The internet’s role in cultural preservation cannot be ignored

Social media has always been a place to share culture, and Palestine is no different. Palestinian creators online are sharing Palestine and their culture as they know it, and they are also sharing how they are fighting for Palestine.  

The creator that inspired this article is @mxriyum on TikTok. Mariam is a Palestinian who started sharing recipes on TikTok that she learned from her mother who is from Palestine. She states in a TikTok that sharing her mother’s recipes is a key part in preserving the Palestinian culture.  

She’s using her recipes and the TikTok following she built to give Palestine a voice. As Mariam posts videos of her mother’s recipes, she shares important information of the genocide Israel is committing in Gaza. She has shared cooking videos of dishes such as Ka’ak Al-Quds, a bagel with a sesame seed crust, Msakhan, the national dish of Palestine, and more.  

Mariam’s work on social media is incredibly important. She brings Palestinian culture into the public eye through TikTok, showing people the heritage of Palestine, the hands that came before her, making the dishes she is online.  

Lour, known on TikTok as @lourtotah, is a content creator who makes content about life in Palestine. As far as I can gather from their content, they are still living in Palestine, but were in South Africa during the ICJ case.  

They have shared videos of their home with bullet holes in it from Israeli soldiers. Not recent bullet holes, bullet holes from when they were a child, showing an aspect of how far back this conflict extends.  

Lour’s TikTok page shows Palestine as what it was before the mass bombing started, what it is now with Israel’s attack and genocidal intent, and the hope for what Palestine could be. You can scroll back on the content to see the beauty of Palestine and its culture. 

You’ve probably seen videos online of Hamzah (@hamzah on TikTok), whether you realize it or not. The 20-year-old Palestinian has had several videos go viral of him talking to Israeli people online.  

A video of two Israeli girls aggressively asking him “Palestine or Israel?” has 2.4 million likes and 47.9 million views on TikTok. Another video of him talking to an Israeli girl who tries to tell him that the people dying in Gaza is their fault, that they should go to Egypt, and that the Palestinians need to leave because the Israelis told them to has 2 million likes and 20.7 million views.  

A video of a girl saying, “Free Israel,” and Hamzah responding, “From what?” to which the girl has no response has 1.5 million likes and nearly 19 million views. He talks to Israelis, revealing the disinformation about what’s going on in Gaza. 

He mentions in one video that he makes his content to show the world what’s going on in Palestine, but also shares that he feels he will never be able to go back until Palestine is free. He feels this way because he is recognized by the Israeli people he meets online. Hamzah’s TikTok is a commentary showcase of the people of Israel and what they believe is happening in Gaza. 

As we continue to fight for a ceasefire in Gaza, it’s important to know what we’re fighting for. We’re fighting for their lives, but we’re also fighting for their culture that some seek to destroy.  

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