Palestinian Blogger Attracts International Viewers



Lina Al Sharif, a 22 years old Palestinian blogger who writes about her everyday life has attracted a wide international following. Her entries reflect the harshest aspects of life in Gaza Strip. Lina, an English literature student at the Islamic University of Gaza, started her 'Live from Gaza' blog in 2007 to showcase what a young woman in Israeli-blockaded area has to endure on a daily basis. "I started writing the blog is because there was a stereotype about Gaza being just a war zone where people are constantly dying. That is just one part of the picture. But if you want to look at the real image -- people are trying to lead a normal life under occupation" Lina's posts tells the experiences of 1.5 million Palestinians who live in Gaza, more than half of whom are classified as refugees from past wars with Israel. The Gaza Strip enters its fifth year of suffering an Israeli blockade by land, air and sea, which began after Hamas seized control of the strip in 2007 in a civil war with forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Lina has also written on poverty, which jumped to 45.2 percent (do we know by how much?) as a result of the blockade. "In 2007 after the situation in Gaza became harder, I decided to continue writing blogs about my life in Gaza" Most people in Gaza live on less than two US dollars a day, and as many as 80 percent depend on food aids. The blockade has significantly hurt the private sector which thousands depend on for their livelihoods. Social media has provided a platform for bloggers like Lina to share their experiences. She receives support from her followers in and out of Gaza. Speaker: Lina Al Sharif Voice: Shounaz Mekky By: Ikram Al Yacoub Al Arabiya with Agencies

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