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Hamada Shaqoura: The Food Blogger Cooking Through Gaza's Hunger Crisis

Hamada Shaqoura has gained a massive following on Instagram for his resourceful cooking videos, showing his ability to create delicious meals using aid packages and humanitarian rations.

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Gaza Food Blogger Hamada Shaqoura | Photo: Instagram
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In the besieged Gaza Strip, where violence and humanitarian crises have become a grim reality, a young food blogger is using his passion for cooking to spread hope and resilience.

Hamada Shaqoura, 32, has gained a massive following on Instagram for his resourceful cooking videos, showing his ability to create delicious meals using aid packages and humanitarian rations. Shaqoura's jury-rigged kitchen gives the world a look into the scarcity and ingenuity that have come to define Palestinian survival.

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He uses humanitarian rations, which he and his community gather by standing in hours-long queues, Shaqoura spins up chicken curry and pizza wraps.

“I am originally a food blogger with around seven years of experience showcasing Gaza’s once-thriving food scene. However, in a few short months, my life shifted from enjoying Gaza's culinary delights to merely eating for survival and cooking for displaced families,” Hamada told The New Arab.

Shaqoura's earlier posts featured traditional Gazan dishes, such as warm flatbreads, wraps brimming with savoury fillings, and crispy, juicy broasted chicken. However, his feed has now shifted to videos of him batch-cooking different meals using aid packages, including canned food.

Each meal prepared from an aid package tells a story of hope and determination, Shaqoura says. "By sharing these stories, I want to humanise our struggle and keep the plight of Gaza in the global consciousness."

There is a defiant cheerfulness to his posts: “Our dish today is: Hope in a plate,” reads one caption.

"We still don't have access to any type of red or white meat.. so we are all vegetarians but not by choice! The lack of protein has definitely affected out bodies & energy level! I mean you can see it in our faces & postures! The extreme heat isn't helping either. Despite all of that we manage to smile and keep going.. we are still HOPEFUL that this nightmare will end soon and we can rebuild out lives."

Food in Gaza is very synonymous with starvation and humanitarian crisis. The Israeli blockade, tightened in October 2023, has exacerbated Gaza's reliance on aid.

Despite outright violence that has left over 2 million people displaced and over 34,000 Palestinians dead, experts warn that hunger and disease may surpass bombs and bullets in the number of casualties. Top international monitors, such as Oxfam, have declared the starvation in Gaza as the worst on record. 

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