Surfboards needed for Gaza Strip surfers

April 22, 2011 | Surfing
Gaza Strip: sharing a wave, helping each other

Have you got an old surfboard and would like to do something special? The Gaza Strip surfers don't have surfboards and surf gear, but they love to ride the waves.

The few boards available are old and destroyed. Ken O'Keefe, a former U.S. Marine is a social entrepreneur trying to help local surfers set up their surf community. O'Keefe burned his US passport and has called himself "citizen of the world".

In the last days, this US surfer visited Gaza Beach, met the best local riders and hit the water with their surfboards. It was "a very rare and special day indeed. I also surfed for the first time in about 13 years, or at least I tried. It was an absolute joy to be in the sea and to surf in Gaza is a real honor", tells Ken O'Keefe.

"The guys I surfed with, Mohammed and Hatem were great, offered me a board the moment I started bodysurfing next to them".

The Gaza Beach is always a war stage between Palestinians and Israelis and surfing, like fishing, is not a safe sport activity. Even though, kids love to interact with the sea and that might help changing things in the future.

Surfing is peace and sharing waves with friends. The Palestinians in Gaza have discovered surfing and are sharing their local spot with everyone, even tourists. In 2008, Alexander Klein filmed "God Went Surfing with the Devil", a surf documentary about the daily struggle to supersede the conflict through the joys of surfing.

So, if you think you can help the surf community of Gaza, contact Ken O'Keefe, the Gaza Surf Relief and Surfing 4 Peace. The Palestinian surfers will thank and send good waves to everyone.

Watch the video of surfing in Gaza.

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