10-year-old Janna Jihad Ayyad, born and raised in the war zone of the occupied West bank is Palestine’s youngest (and probably bravest) journalist. She started at the early age of 7 and has grown out to be an influential social media personality.
Armed with her mother’s iPhone she roams the streets of the West Bank, shooting videos to show the world the real circumstances during the conflict between Israel and Palestine. She believes it is her duty to record Israeli injustices throughout the occupied West Bank because, if she doesn’t, who will?
“Not a lot of journalists are sending our message from Palestine to the world, so I thought, ‘Why not send my message…and show them what is happening in my village’,” Ayyad told Al Jazeera.
As any mother, Nawal Tamimi, is both scared for and proud of her daughter. Although her daughter is doing good, sharing her message, fears, feelings and problems of attending school with the world, the army thinks otherwise. The chances of nightly teargas bombings or attacks are always around the corner and of course, frightening.
The inspiration of her incredibly courageous acts is to be found at her uncle’s, who is a photographer and has documented the violence of Israeli soldiers in Nabi Saleh, her hometown.
Her biggest trigger were the deaths of her cousin, Mustafa Tamimi and second uncle, Rushdie Tamimi. Ever since that day Janna is dedicated to show the world that their chains do not detain her.
She posts videos of people being detained at checkpoint, protest marches, and violence against Palestinian children.
She started out small, documenting protest near her home, but expanded to cover other conflict-related violence and marches outside of her village, in places like Jerusalem or Jordan.
She is also active on Facebook, where she describes herself as a news personality. She posts several videos of her participating in demonstrations and confronting Israeli soldiers both in Arabic and English.
Because she is only 10 years old, she believes to have an advantage: “The soldiers catch the big journalists and take their cameras.”
As she gets older, Janna would like to study journalism at Harvard and work for CNN or Fox News because “they do not talk about Palestine, and I want to make reports on Palestine”.
“My camera is my gun,” Janna explains. “The camera is stronger than the gun. I can send my message to small people, and they can send it to others.”
Janna, you may be a small girl but you are without a doubt a big inspiration to the world!