Wheelchair-bound photographer takes on Gaza


Twenty three-year-old Moumen Qaragi roves the streets of Gaza covering stories as a freelance photographer -- all while being confined to his wheelchair.

Qaragi is a self-taught photographer who picked up skills when he was a teenager and went on to develop his career just before he was injured in a crosspoint shooting in 2008.

Then he was shot by Israeli guards at the Kami crosspoint while working on a feature on Gaza’s economy. Both his legs sustained severe injuries which led to their amputation.

While receiving medical treatment, Israel forces launched an attack on Gaza, and Qaragi was able to capture the horrors of it.

"After my first injury, they amputated my legs. I was in the hospital and the war started. I was in the hospital and from the window of my hospital room, I was taking photos of the war, of the injured arriving at the hospital. I went to Saudi Arabia for treatment and after a long period, thank God I was able to recover," Qaraqi said.

Qaragi also met his wife, a correspondent for a Palestinian women’s magazine, while undergoing rehabilitation in Riyadh.

He now works for the Palestinian Shehab News Agency and spends family time with his wife and two daughters.

"I work as a photographer because my ability to move around is limited. Video camera operators need to be able to move around and follow, for example, a demonstration," Qaraqi added.

Regardless of certain limitations, Qaragi hopes that pursuing his dream despite his disability proves inspirational for others.