Janna Ayyad (who goes by the name Janna Jihad on her social media channels) may be only 10-years-old, but she's certainly making her voice heard above a sea of other fellow journalists.
Janna, who is Palestinian and lives in a village called Nabi Saleh in the occupied West Bank, often joins other children in local demonstrations opposing the Israeli occupation. But Janna goes beyond her civil duties, and began filming videos of protests and other events when she was in the second grade.
Now a fourth grader, Janna's work is beginning to get noticed by international media outlets, and she was recently featured in Vice and Al Jazeera. Speaking to Al Jazeera about her work, Janna explained, "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.'
" A large part of Janna's drive to document her world was born out of the death of her cousin and uncle, one of whom was killed by a gas canister. Since the murders' of her family members, Janna has started traveling outside her village, using her mother's iPhone to film videos in other parts of the country and in Jordan.
Though some have argued that a war-zone is no place for a child, Janna sees her small size as an advantage over other journalists, telling Al Jazeera that "the soldiers catch the big journalists and take their cameras. My camera is my gun," she said. "The camera is stronger than the gun ... I can send my message to small people, and they can send it to others."
For now, Janna's biggest platform is social media, and she currently has close to 25,000 followers on her Facebook page. Janna is quickly becoming the voice of Palestinian children, and you can learn more about her and her inspiring work in the video below.