Gaza Is Here

Geography and Location

Gaza has always held strategic importance by virtue of its geographical location, as it is bordered from the north by the city of Ashkelon and the Negev desert by the east, the Mediterranean to the west, and Egypt to the southwest. Thus, Gaza has been a commercial corridor between Egypt, the Levant, and Iraq. Anciently, it was ruled by the Canaanites, the ancient Egyptians, and the Philistines. During the Byzantine period, Gaza’s important seaport on the Mediterranean Sea played an important role in geographical significance. All these elements have made Gaza into a melting pot for different cultures and civilizations, to be influenced by many empires that have been built over the ages, giving Gaza a rich cultural and historical character.

In the southwest of Palestine, lies the Gaza Strip, with an area of approximately 365 km2, not more than 41 km long,
with its width varying from 5 km in some areas to 15 km in others. The Strip’s population lives under congestion and
lack of space, with a total population of 2.23 million. Distributed to 1.13 million males, 1.10 million females, and up to
47.3% of young people. In contrast, the population density is as high as 6,102 inhabitants/km2, making up the highest
proportion globally, even with places of high ratios, such as Detroit, With 1,778.71 inhabitants/km2. This has caused
limited resources in the Gaza Strip and has significantly made life in the Gaza Strip more difficult. Nevertheless, this
densely populated environment has contributed to growing feelings of solidarity and unity among individuals,
generating deep cohesion, and making Gazans live in a spirit of optimism and determination to overcome enormous
challenges and daily difficulties.


Gaza’s economic history tells the story of a transit filled with resilience and challenges. Through many times in which the sector experienced periods of prosperity from ancient times and later in the era of medieval and classical civilizations down to the Ottoman era. During these ages, the sector thrived due to its commercially significant location, which attracted the attention of traders in addition to its proximity to the ancient Silk Road, the sector’s economy was based on agriculture, industry, crafts, and merchandise trade among nations. to culminate in growth in infrastructure and trade under Ottoman rule.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Gaza Strip’s situation changed; difficult times and wars began to dominate the Strip and the region. Causing the Gaza Strip, as a part of Palestine, to suffer successive calamities that have severely roiled the local economy. This decline culminated in the twentieth century when the Palestinian people began to face unprecedented challenges due to Israel’s occupation, which cast a dark shadow over the Gaza Strip and all of Palestine, the Gaza Strip was the commercial gate to and from Palestine through its international airport and the only Palestinian port on the Mediterranean coast, which played a major role in Gaza’s economic recovery. However, the destruction of the airport, the suspension of the port, and Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip since 2007 have greatly impacted the economy. The freedom of movement of the population and goods has been restricted and travel costs have increased, with the prohibition of most essential goods and materials from entering the Strip. This has so far led to a severe shortage of resources and basic supplies such as fuel, energy, medicines, and foodstuffs. This has also significantly affected Gaza’s infrastructure, alongside repeated wars, targeting of vital infrastructure, and destruction of vital factories and institutions. As a result of restrictions on freedom of movement and economic destruction, unemployment rates have increased, unemployment stood at 47% by 2023, compared with 23% in 2005 before the siege was imposed on the Strip. 80% of Gaza’s population is dependent on aid and grants, and 35% of arable land in the Gaza Strip is prohibited. in addition to restrictions on water supply and fertilizers. The fishermen’s sector also suffered heavy losses, with 90% of fishermen turning below the poverty line due to the blockade as well as the ongoing targeting of fishermen. All other economic sectors and businesses in the Strip also heavily suffered from the Israeli siege.


Politics in the Gaza Strip has historically been complex and intertwined due to regional and international conflicts and internal events. In the twentieth century when Britain occupied Palestine. Subsequently, the Nakba occurred in 1948, in which the Palestinian people were expelled from their homes, and lands, and lost their homeland in favor of the establishment of the State of Israel throughout the Palestinian territory, following which Gaza experienced a wave of displacement of its people towards the outside of Palestine, and to the strip from the areas occupied in 1948, which also contributed to an increase in population density.

From 1948 until 1967, Gaza was under Egyptian administration, until its occupation by Israel in 1967 alongside the West Bank, and continued until the Israeli withdrawal in 2005, imposing a blockade that had a significant negative impact on the economy and life of its population, resulting in daily challenges and suffering for the inhabitants of the Strip. Especially that Israel controls the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, which is dedicated to the crossing of people, and the Karam Abu Salem crossing dedicated to the movement of goods. In addition to Israeli control over the Rafah crossing, the only land port linking Gaza with the outside world through Egypt.

The situation in the Gaza Strip has worsened as a result of repeated wars, targeting civilians and urban areas, as well as repeated rounds of escalation ranging from one to four days. Since the blockade, the Gaza Strip has gone through five wars:

The 2008 war:

The 2012 War:

The 2014 War:

The 2021 War:

The 2023 War:


The roots of Gaza’s culture extend to a long past of conquests, wars, and different influences. This land blends different cultures and civilizations to create a unique and diverse identity. It also carries a great history of resilience and creativity, particularly evident in its culture and arts.

Gaza has been influenced by the Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic and has been part of many empires for ages. Gaza is also an area of great religious importance to Muslims and Christians, with the second grandfather of the prophet Muhammad buried in Gaza, which has the world’s third-oldest church. Muslims make up the vast majority of the population and Christians, mainly Orthodox come in second order. In the shadow of this diversity, people retain and express religious traditions in ceremonies and rituals.

Educationally, Gaza has been active through its universities and high schools, through which the youth received higher education across a variety of fields including science, engineering, medicine, and arts, and as is known, the proportion of children attending school exceeds 95% for age groups of 6 to 12 years. Education has become a haven for the Gazan youth despite significant challenges as a result of economic and political constraints. In addition, arts also made their mark, having a special place in the Gazan scene; such as the Gaza-based Palestinian “Grassroots” group. Artists from Gaza are keen to present work that reflects the experiences of conflict and hope, literature also occupies an important part of Gaza’s culture.

Life in Gaza: