Motaz Azaiza is one of the 100 most influential people of 2024, as per TIME

25-year-old Palestinian photographer spent nearly four months documenting life under Israeli bombardment

Entertainment Desk April 18, 2024

TIME Magazine's highly anticipated annual list of the world's 100 most influential people has been unveiled, showcasing individuals who have made significant impacts across various fields. Among this year's notable figures are Motaz Azaiza, whose inclusion sheds light on his pivotal role amidst the recent turmoil in the Middle East.

The list selection process involved careful consideration of individuals who have exerted a notable influence on global affairs, culture, and society. Motaz, a Palestinian photographer, earned his place on the TIME100 for his powerful imagery capturing the human stories amidst the Israeli assault on Palestine.

TIME described Motaz as the "world’s eyes and ears in his native Gaza". The description continued to read, "Armed with a camera and a flak jacket marked 'PRESS,' the 25-year-old Palestinian photographer spent nearly four months documenting life under Israeli bombardment: families displaced from homes, women mourning loved ones, a man trapped beneath the rubble."

It furthered, "His images offered a glimpse into Gaza that few in the international press—which has been all but barred from accessing the Strip—could rival. He did so at great risk: At least 95 journalists have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, in what has been the deadliest period for the press since the Committee to Protect Journalists began tracking fatalities in 1992. Dozens more have been injured or arrested. Since evacuating Gaza in January, Motaz’s role has shifted to raising awareness of the crisis—and to calling for international intervention."

Motaz's lens has offered a poignant glimpse into the lives affected by the escalated brutalities of Israel on Palestine, providing a platform for voices often overlooked in mainstream media narratives. His dedicated photojournalism has served as a testament to the resilience and struggles of those impacted by the one-sided war initiated by Israel, amplifying their stories to a global audience.

Motaz's presence on TIME100 serves as a reminder of the power of visual storytelling in shaping perceptions and fostering understanding amidst complex geopolitical realities. As the world grapples with ongoing challenges, his relentless and courageous work stands as a testament to the enduring importance of empathy, compassion, and the pursuit of justice on a global scale.


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In addition to Motaz, other influential figures recognized on this year's list include negotiators William Burns and Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, as well as Rachel Goldberg-Polin, the mother of an Israeli hostage. Each individual's story underscores the profound impact of recent events on both regional dynamics and the lives of millions.

Within the world of entertainment, several familiar names have made the cut. Dua Lipa, who "moves with a lightness in a heavy world—bold, playful, and self-aware," was included on the list, as was "limitless, fearless" Dev Patel. Alia Bhatt's "formidable talent" propelled her onto the influential and coveted list as well, with TIME describing the Bollywood superstar as "a businesswoman and a philanthropist who leads with integrity."

Her description on the list read, "Alia’s superpower is her ability to mix movie-star magnetism with authenticity and sensitivity. As an actor she is luminous, and as a person, she brings the grounded assurance and creativity that make a truly international star." Other notable names include America Ferrera, Michael J. Fox, Sofia Coppola, and "actor Taraji P. Henson, who is fighting for equality in Hollywood."

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