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Bisan Owda (Wizard Bisan)




Bisan Owda (Arabic: بيسان عودة; born 1997 or 1998) is a Palestinian filmmaker, activist, and journalist. She is best known for her social media videos documenting the 2023 Israel–Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

Owda grew up in Beit Hanoun. She was interested in storytelling from a young age, as well as reading, basketball, and astronomy.

Bisan, a headstrong and warm-hearted content creator, embodies the spirit of resilience and the power of storytelling. She weaves narratives that capture the essence of her culture and assert the voices of the unheard. At the age of nine, Bisan stepped onto a school stage, grasping a microphone and reading a poem. Little did she know that this moment would ignite a lifelong passion for storytelling.

From her childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut, Bisan’s journey has been marked by a thirst for exploration and a strong belief in the power of stories. Her love for literature and her insatiable curiosity led her to create content in the field of storytelling, showcasing the Palestinians’ diverse heritage and cultural tapestry. Through her videos, she takes her audience on a captivating voyage, shining a light on the struggles, legends, and triumphs of her own people.


Owda has worked with the United Nations on gender equality, as a member of UN Women’s Youth Gender Innovation Agora Forum.[5] Owda has also worked with the European Union on climate change, and is an EU Goodwill Ambassador.

Owda has produced a show, Hakawatia, which is aired by Roya TV. She also presented educational Palestinian Arabic videos for the YouTube channel Easy Languages. Owda works for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Owda garnered attention for her semi-regular video and livestream updates on social media documenting Palestinian civilians’ experiences during the 2023 Israel-Hamas war, known for opening with some variation of the phrase, “I’m still alive”. As of 15 October 2023, Owda had accumulated over 180,000 followers on Instagram. By 20 November, she had 2 million followers, and by 5 December, she had accumulated over 3 million followers. Owda’s videos and reports have been shared by the likes of ABC News, Al Jazeera, the BBC, Le Monde, CBS News, and Democracy Now!.

After the IDF told Gaza residents to evacuate, Owda and her parents relocated from Beit Hanoun to Al-Shifa Hospital. Her family’s home and her office in Rimal were both bombed, destroying all of Owda’s filming equipment. Owda witnessed the Al-Shifa ambulance airstrike on 3 November 2023.


One of her most cherished creations is “Hakawatya,” a series where she becomes a modern-day Hakawati, drawing inspiration from the ancient Arab tradition of oral storytelling. With every narration, she breathes life into her people’s history. Bisan’s Hakawatya resonates with audiences of all ages, bridging the gap between the past and the present, and instilling a sense of cultural pride.

Bisan has faced her fair share of challenges. Bullying and cyber-harassment have posed obstacles along her path, but she remains steadfast in her belief that these issues can be eradicated through increased self-confidence and protective measures.

Beyond her content creation, Bisan has many hobbies. She loves to read, immersing herself in the pages of novels. A passionate basketball player, she finds balance on the court, where her love for the game meets her determination to succeed. In her quiet moments, she cultivates her connection with nature, tending to her plants and embracing the serenity of her village roots.

Bisan’s role as an EU Goodwill Ambassador fills her with pride. As she dons this title, she amplifies the voices of her fellow youth, advocating for change, and embracing the opportunities that lie ahead. To her, the EU represents opportunities, and a catalyst for global transformation. Bisan recognizes the pressing need for job opportunities, skills development, and the active participation of women and youth in the region. Through the EU’s initiatives, she sees a path toward empowerment, fostering greater cooperation, and unlocking the potential of her generation.

With each video she creates, each story she tells, Bisan reminds us all that our narratives deserve to be heard. In a world where social media can be both a blessing and a curse, Bisan stands tall, staying true to herself and her values. She understands that her content will remain a permanent testament to her journey, a legacy she can be proud of—one that reflects her principles and inspires positive change. Bisan, the Hakawatya continues to ignite the flames of transformation wherever her words are heard.

When you stop wanting to live, your mind will stop working and you will die.. As long as you have not died yet, this means that you are still dreaming