While most 10-year-olds go to school, play with their friends and enjoy their childhood, Janna Jihad, from Palestine is busy becoming the youngest amateur reporter in Palestine. Sputnik spoke in an exclusive interview with Janna.
A resident of Nabi Saleh, a Palestinian village north of the West Bank city of Ramallah, Janna has been a witness to the tragedies of war from a very young age.
She started covering the local events and unveiling Israeli violations in Palestine after her friend was killed by the IDF.
“I began three years ago, when I was seven years old. I participated in rallies near our house in Ramallah, precisely in the rally of ‘Nabi Salih’ (The prophet of ancient Arabia) in the village of Nabi Salih.”
“It was a rally against the establishment of the Israeli settlement in the area. Our house is the first house in the entrance of the village of Nabi Salih; the IDF always reach there. I have loved journalism since I was a kid; I began shooting the rallies and demonstrations with my mother’s cell-phone and commenting on what I film.”
Janna explained that by filming it she is showing how the IDF attack participants during demonstrations.
“With the help of my mother I managed to publish these videos on social networks, the thing was met with significant resonance and this pushed me to continue even further,” Janna explained.
Recalling what was the turning point in her life that pushed her further to pursue journalism; Janna said that it was the killing of her friend and her maternal uncle at the hands of the IDF.
“They were shot dead just in front of my eyes when I was 7 years old. This is it. It was then when I gave up fear and shyness and decided to document all violations made by the IDF wherever I went; so I make videos on my mother’s cell-phone and make comments either in Arabic or English.”
She further spoke about how her aim is to shed light on the Israeli violations that the international media doesn’t cover and let the whole world know about their practices on Palestinian lands.
Talking about why she uses English in her reports, Janna said that she was born in the US and moved back to Palestine when she was three months old. She studied in American School in Ramallah and learned English with the help of her parents.
“I found out that reports made in English reach a wider public on social networks rather than those in Arabic. Then, I’m addressing the West; for, Palestinians and Arabs know what is happening in Palestine, and about the scope of the Israeli violations. Thus, I’m regularly working on developing my English to convey my message to the world.”
Talking about her future ambitions, Janna said that she wants to be a journalist when she grows up and work for an international news agency.
“This is because media doesn’t tell the truth about the Israeli violations on the Palestinian territories. I want to correct this and show the true picture of the events. I also wish to become a football player to represent Palestine in all international forums (and football matches),” Janna concluded.