Meet the 9-year-old Palestinian journalist who has become a voice for Gaza's children amid war

Confident and passionate about her mission, Lama has won thousands of hearts over the course of three months

By Sa'adia Reza

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Photo: lama_jamous9/Instagram
Photo: lama_jamous9/Instagram

Published: Fri 5 Jan 2024, 5:13 PM

Last updated: Fri 5 Jan 2024, 10:05 PM

Donning a press vest and a helmet, Gaza’s youngest journalist has one major agenda: to amplify the Palestinian children’s voices to the world.

Meet Lama Ahmed Abu Jamous, the 9-year-old content creator from Gaza, who stands tall among many bravehearts who have emerged as journalists in the war-ravaged Strip after October 7. With more than 600,000 followers on Instagram, Lama has fast become the face of Palestinian children, giving them the platform to voice their grievances amidst the war.

“The world should hear the children of Palestine’s voices: tortured, starved, dehydrated, displaced. And despite everything they’ve been through, their spirit is remarkable,” she commented in an interview posted on GazaNewsLive Instagram account.

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The young reporter, who converses in Arabic, grabbed a cellphone in the early days of the war, and with encouragement from her family, began to actively report from the ground. Forced to flee from her home amidst Israeli airstrikes, Lama first found refuge in Khan Younis, and was later displaced to Rafah.

Confident and passionate about her mission, Lama has won thousands of hearts over the course of three months, as she moves around in search of stories that the world needs to know.

Whether it’s the impact of rains on Gaza, airstrikes in Khan Younis, or interviews with doctors and journalists, the young girl’s social media posts continue to document the sufferings of her people. Her interview with journalists ‘uncle’ Wael Al-Dahdouh and ‘auntie’ Bisan got her over 500K and 163K likes respectively (at the time of writing).

“My fav(ourite) little reporter! Love you sweet Lama! May Allah protect you always,” commented one follower on a post which carried messages from the people Gaza who Lama had interviewed.

Another follower commented: “You're an amazing journalist. Imagine all the things you will achieve as you grow. We can't wait to see you shine.”

While love pours in for the young reporter, Instagrammers also expressed their shock to find a kid as young as nine being forced to document the tragic and horrific stories from Gaza.

“We will never be forgiven for making a child tell us about the killing of her people. Lama, I hope that one day you get to play, and be carefree. The world has stolen your childhood from you, and I am so sorry,” read one comment.

Over the course of nearly three months, the total recorded Palestinian death toll has reached 22,438, almost 1 per cent of its 2.3 million population, the Gaza health ministry said. Two-thirds of them are women and children.

According to UNRWA, almost 90 per cent of Gaza population has been “forcibly displaced”.

There is a high risk of communicable disease outbreaks, and many cases of meningitis, skin rashes, chickenpox & other diseases have been recorded. UNRWA’s X account further states an “alarming rates of respiratory infections and diarrhea in children under 5".

For the world, Lama has just one message: “Stop this war against us. We want it to end. Just like other children, we want to live freely, we want to have freedom. As a child, I want to make my voice heard.”

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