Following is a report on girl surfers in Gaza, which aired on Alaan TV on November 11, 2010:
Reporter: Shuruq and Sabbah Abu Ghanem ride the waves in their own private world. The two girls, who are less than 15 years old, were taught to surf by their father, who works as a lifeguard on the beach, when they were three years old.
Shuruq Abu Ghanem: When I am in the sea, I feel like I am in a different world, because I am free – I can go wherever I want and do whatever I want in the sea. People are not interested in this, but we are.
Reporter: The shallow waters along the coastline do not provide the Gazans with refuge from the hot weather this year. The water is contaminated by the flow of untreated sewage into the sea.
The girls' father: No, I'm not worried about them. Allah be praised, even if you throw them into the water 10 km from the shore, they would get out by themselves. They are fearless. All my children swim well – both boys and girls. I teach them to swim at the age of six.
Reporter: The Mediterranean waves are generally of medium height, but surfing is not generally a popular sport on the beaches of Gaza. The Gazans on the beach and in the beachside restaurants are astonished to see the two girls and their relatives riding the waves.
Sabbah Abu Ghanem: People say to us: "Be careful not to drown. Get out of the water." We tell them that we know how to swim. When we go into the deep waters, people say to the men and children: "Look at the girl, she's better than you. She's not like you, she goes deep."
Reporter: Now that Shuruq and her sister Sabbah have mastered this sport, they dream of participating one day in a surfing competition. Perhaps in this hobby, they will find themselves or their freedom.