Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


'My camera is my gun' - meet Palestine's 10-year-old journalist

28 April 2016, 14:38

Nabi Saleh - Palestinian Janna Jihad Ayyad, who turned 10 years old this month, counts herself among the youngest journalists in the world.

A resident of the village of Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank, Janna, along with many other local children, regularly participates in demonstrations against the Israeli occupation. She began making videos of what was happening in her village when she was only seven years old.

"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'," Janna told Al Jazeera.

Family deaths

While there are no journalists in Janna's family, her uncle, Bilal Tamimi, is a photographer who has documented the violence of Israeli soldiers in Nabi Saleh. Janna was partly inspired by him.

"I talk about what is happening," Janna said. "I see an occupation, soldiers, cannons and police. They do a lot of things to make us go from our land."

The deaths of two men in her village - her cousin, Mustafa Tamimi, and another uncle, Rushdie Tamimi - served as a trigger for her to begin documenting everything that was happening in Nabi Saleh. Mustafa was killed by a gas canister and Rushdie was fatally shot in his kidney.  

Since then, Janna has expanded her work, travelling with her family and using her mother's iPhone to shoot videos in Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus and Jordan. Her videos show everything from people being detained at checkpoints, protest marches and violence against Palestinian children.

As a child, she feels she has an advantage over adult reporters: "The soldiers catch the big journalists and take their cameras."

Proud, but scared

On Facebook, Janna describes herself as a news personality, and has attracted more than 22 000 followers. Her page includes several videos of her participating in demonstrations and confronting Israeli soldiers. Her reports are delivered in both Arabic and English. 

"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."

Her mother, Nawal Tamimi, says she is both scared for and proud of her young daughter.

"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," Nawal told Al Jazeera.

"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."

Janna's uncle, Bilal, says it has been difficult to accept Janna's work. "She should be playing and studying, but in our life it's not a choice," he told Al Jazeera, noting that the family has a history of activism dating back to 1948. "We must teach our children to not accept humiliation and not be cowards. We are under occupation. We cannot teach our children silence; they must fight for their freedom."

When she gets older, Janna says she would like to work for CNN or Fox News because "they do not talk about Palestine, and I want to make reports on Palestine".

Asked what an ideal world would look like to her, Janna, for once, responds like a 10-year-old: "I want it to be pink."

- Aljazeera


Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Jayne Zack
I am in ODM to stay, Busia Depu...

Busia Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa told Deputy President William on the face that he was in the Orange Democratic Movement to stay. Read more...

Boda Boda operators in Bahati rai...

Motorbike Boda Boda operators from Bahati Sub county on Tuesday took to the streets of Nakuru’s CBD lamenting over what they term is harassment by patrol police officers in the area. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Human Rights activist lives in fe...

The Human rights fraternity in Mombasa is currently living in fear after the home of one of the vocal human rights champion was invaded on Monday night. Read more...

Submitted by
kel wesh
Poisonous milk powder siezed by K...

The Kenya Revenue Authority has seized two containers with illegal milk powder which had been declared as gypsum board at Mombasa port. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be ready for protests, Raila warn...

Expect protests if meddling with Auditor General continues, Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...