In the streets of Gaza, where sorrow hangs heavy in the air, one young man has emerged as a beacon of hope and creativity. Ezzedine Lulu, a Palestinian artist and medical student is touching lives, spreading joy, and bringing about positive change for his people, one drawing at a time.
Ezz dreamt of becoming a doctor, driven by an innate desire to heal and make a difference in the lives of others. Today, as a medical student, he aspires to become a surgeon, ready to mend not only physical wounds but also the scars that afflict his community’s spirit. Ezz’s childhood passion for drawing grew with him to give voice to the suffering he witnessed daily. Ezz became the first Palestinian artist to employ the zoom technique in his works. Through these mesmerizing creations, he captures his people’s struggles, shining a light on their plight while offering a glimmer of hope.
Drawing inspiration from the downtrodden streets of Gaza, Ezz began an extraordinary project. With stealth, he immortalizes unsuspecting individuals, capturing their portraits without their knowledge. Moments later, he surprises them, unveiling their likenesses and documenting their joy as they see themselves in a different light. These heart-warming interactions are shared with the world through social media, painting a vivid picture of resilience against a backdrop of adversity.
Each portrait Ezz captures holds a greater purpose than meets the eye. As he immortalizes the faces of the vulnerable, such as street vendors, he ensures to record their contact information. Then, when the reaction video finds its way to countless screens, and hearts, strangers who are moved by the portraits and the stories behind them, reach out to Ezz. They ask him to connect them with the individuals he has drawn. The person in the portrait often receives life-changing support—a helping hand, a financial boost, a new opportunity. In Ezz’s hands, a simple drawing becomes a catalyst for transformation, a gateway to a brighter future.
Juggling the demands of his rigorous studies and his content creation has not been without its challenges. Ezz has learned the art of time management and perseverance, sacrificing precious moments of rest and leisure to make his dreams a reality. His dedication and willingness to work under pressure reveal a competitive young man propelled by a determination to excel and constantly push himself beyond his limits.
Ezz’s desire to uplift the youth of his country is evident in his role as EU Goodwill ambassador. Aware of the untapped potential within his community, he advocates for his peers to seize the opportunities offered by EU-funded initiatives. Ezz strives to empower the passionate and ambitious youth, reminding them that doors can open when they dare to knock.
Ezz fosters a cycle of giving that reaches deep into the essence of what it means to be compassionate. In a place where despair lingers, he paints smiles, spreads kindness, and offers a lifeline of hope to those who need it most.
Life is inherently risky. There is one major risk to avoid, and that is the risk of doing nothing.
On 7 May 2022 and during a LIVE session in the presence of 12 EU Goodwill Ambassadors from the Southern Neighbourhood, the EU Neighbours South Programme launched the 2nd edition of the #InTheirEyes, a competition aimed at digital influencers in eight countries of the Southern Neighbourhood: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.