ZoominTV published a series following Janna Jihad, an 11-year-old Palestinian youth activist and amateur journalist living in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.
The series ran as part of the channel’s “Local Heroes” programme which features “profile pieces that highlight the lives and work of people who dare to aim at the impossible to achieve a greater good.”
Episode 1: Playing with bombs
First aired in February this year, the series begins by tackling the norms of a child’s life under occupation. Playing with empty gas canisters and grenades that were used by Israeli forces and have landed near her house, Janna explains the reasons she became a journalist and shares her dreams of a normal life.
“I dream to live another life, to live without occupation, to live like any child in the world, playing with things that any child in the world plays with, without waking up at night with bombs bombing near my window and soldiers waking me up and making me afraid in the middle of the night, without seeing my friends getting killed in front of me, seeing my best friends getting arrested near me, or my mum getting injured, or seeing my house getting demolished. I dream to live a normal life”
Episode 2: The Raids
Sharing the story of her 14-year-old cousin, Muhammad, who was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers during a raid on their village causing considerable damage to his skull, Janna explains what it is like to live in constant fear of raids.
Episode 3: Trapped
“I’ve never seen the sea,” one child tells Janna, “only in photos.”
The young reporter addresses the restrictions on movement in occupied Palestine. “We’re like in a very big jail that we cannot go anywhere we want,” Janna says, sharing a collection of interviews she conducted with other children in her village.
“I don’t want the occupation to prevent us from travelling,” says another child. “We want to travel whenever we like, not to have this occupation that shoots us and prevents us from travelling.”
Episode 4: Ahed’s day
In the fourth episode, Janna shares the story of her cousin Ahed Tamimi, who was arrested for slapping an Israeli soldier in December after her cousin, Muhammad, was shot in the head. Ahed was sentenced to eight months in prison.
“It’s very hard for her, especially that she’s in her senior year of school, and it’s also hard for us because we’re her family, we’re her friends. It’s very hard for me, right now I’m feeling like I’m missing, or a part of my body is missing and I feel lonely and feel sad.”
Episode 5: Nightmares
In the final episode of the series, Janna describes the difficulties of life in Nabi Saleh. It is, in her words, a living nightmare filled with fear, pain and loss, where protests, riots and shootings are the daily norm.