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World’s youngest journalist urges SA youth ‘to know the world’

The world’s youngest registered journalist and Palestinian activist, Janna Jihad Ayyad (12), encouraged South African youth to become more involved in political activism to promote unity in the country and the world at large.

Jihad was in Durban on Monday as the ambassador for South African human rights NGO Shamsaan where she spoke to the local media about her work as a journalist in Palestine and shared videos and stories of the conditions for a child living there.

Ayyad began reporting at the age of seven after two of her family members were killed.

She spreads awareness about the issues that confront her as a child living under occupation and started using her mother’s iPhone to capture videos of protests near her home and uploading them on social media platforms.

Speaking to Independent Media at St James on Venice hotel, Ayyad said that it was important for everyone, especially the youth, to know the world and not live in a bubble.

“It is important to be knowing about the world because you not the only person in it. We have to make a change and to make that change, we have to unite and put hand to hand to make this world a world of peace, a world of love, a world of quality and just liberate the world from their negative thinking,” she said.

Ayyad uses journalism, narrating the stories and capturing intense video footage of Israeli soldiers firing tear gas and rubber bullets at people while invading their homes.

“Everybody has their own way of resisting. There are a million ways of resisting, from documenting to dancing to singing. I have my journalism but we have people who go to demonstrations and that activism is a way of resistance. We support each other and share knowledge,” she said adding that South African youth could do the same.

Ayyad is in SA until July 20 to participate in the Mandela centenary events and to engage with South African human rights organizations and youth platforms.

She was accompanied by her mother Nawal Tamimi, who is an activist of the well recognized Tamimi family of the village of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank.


This article first appeared on IOL, and can be viewed here. 

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