Janna Jihad Ayya, a Palestinian youngster born and raised in the war zone of West bank, has successfully carved out a niche for herself as the youngest (and probably bravest) journalist at the present time.
Ayya, who resides in the village of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank, is famed not only for her documentary on what is happening in her village but also for joining other local children as they regularly participate in demonstrations against the Israeli occupation of West bank.
The young journalist started her career at the early age of seven by making videos and keeping records of what was happening in her village – Nabi Saleh. She was inspired by the fact that the world is not getting enough information from her country because journalists could not reach most part of it.
Speaking during a special interview with Aljazeera, the courageous lass lamented that most people in the world don’t know about the violence in her village, hence, the reason she was propelled to make videos of what’s happening around her.
“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,” she told reporters.
Her other source of inspiration is her uncle, Bilal Tamimi, a photographer who took pains to document the violence of Israeli soldiers in Nabi Saleh.
Pretty and amazing Janna already sees herself making a career out her passion for journalism.
“I talk about what is happening. I see an occupation, soldiers, cannons, and police. They do a lot of things to make us go from our land.”
The tragic deaths of her cousin, Mustafa Tamimi who was killed by a gas canister, and another uncle, Rushdie Tamimi who took a bullet in his kidney triggered the zeal to start documenting everything that was happening in her village.
Janna has reached out to many places with her work, travelling with her family and using her mother’s iPhone to capture the moment while moving through Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus, and Jordan.
The young journalist has been able to capture people being detained unlawfully or otherwise at checkpoints, protest marches and violent actions against Palestinian children.
Being a child worked to her advantage over adult reporters because nobody takes notice of her presence. She revealed that most times cameras belonging to adult journalists are seized by soldiers.
Janna, who believes her camera is her gun, delivers her reports in Arabic and English and floods her Facebook page with pictures and videos of her participation in protests. As young as the young journalist is, she has pulled more than 22 000 followers on her social media page.
While her mother Nawal Tamimi admits she’s proud of her daughter, she also has mixed feelings about the part her daughter has chosen as she scared about her future and life.
“I am proud of my daughter because as a child, she tells her message to the world. She shares her fears, what she feels, and the problems of attending school. But I am scared for her when the army comes in the middle of the night and tear-gases our house, and we wake up in smoke … They attack our people who demonstrate against the settlers and the Israeli occupation,” Nawal said.
Dubbed “the youngest journalists in the world”, Janna apparently has a promising future and a bigger dream, as she aspires to work for CNN or Fox News because “they do not talk about Palestine” and she wants to make reports on Palestine.
Quick Facts about Janna Jihad Ayya
- The young journalist started out small, making videos of protests near her home. She later expanded her documentary to cover other conflict-related violence and marches outside of her village, including in places like Jordan, Hebron, Nablus, and Jerusalem.
- She is quite smart and intelligent. She hopes to study journalism at Harvard University.
- Janna is considered a big inspiration to the world due to her bravery and act of assistance.
- She describes herself on her social media page as a news personality.
- According to her uncle, their family has a history of activism which dates back to 1948.