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Meet the Blue Whale of Gaza who helps save Palestinian lives

Hamed Abu Nahl is more than 70 years old but he still volunteers as a lifeguard on Gaza's beach.

October 23, 2022 at 9:10 am

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A resident of Al-Shati refugee camp, Hamed felt a connection with the coast since childhood. Now over 70 years old and still able to swim, he watches out for vacationers along Gaza’s coastline.

“What prompted me to volunteer at this age is my great experience in knowing the fluctuations of weather and marine climate, the currents and warning people against them,” he explains. Known locally as the Blue Whale of Gaza, Hamed was injured by an Israeli sniper in the 70s and fled to Egypt, swimming 40 kilometres to safety. He then stayed in the North African state for a number of years before returning to Gaza.

When he returned to the enclave, he returned to volunteering as a lifeguard. “I stay here every day from evening until sunset and I will continue until the last day of my life in the service of the homeland.”