Bodour AbuKwaik (@bodourabukuwaik) Media Content Editor, Islamic Relief
I became a journalist because I realized that the best way to help people is with my pen. One day, I was volunteering with children who suffer from renal failure and I was shocked to learn that they were confined because of the illness and that they couldn’t go to school. After I returned home, I decided to help them, but the challenge was how to reach the people who had the power to give these children an education. This need encouraged me to be a journalist, to learn more about the techniques and skills of media, to be a sincere voice not only for sick children, but also for all my people, who are suffering every day from many problems.
Mosab Abusaif (@Mosababusaif1) Palestine TV
When the second Intifada started, I was a child. While I was forced to witness a lot of violence and killing, the world remained, mostly, unaware of what was going on. I’m from Hebron, and area south of the West Bank. When I was eleven my father died and my life changed, but my family helped me to continue my education. I was inspired by my childhood memories and by my uncle, who worked for AL Jazeera, to study journalism at the University. Today, I work as a journalist, covering sports for Palestine TV.
Zeinab Al-Tibi (@Zeinab_Press ) Al Falasteniah TV
I was in ninth grade when I realized that the rest of the world didn’t understand the daily challenges we face as Palestinians. It was during the summer of the last Intifada when family friends came to visit us from the UK. They spent a week with us in Tulkarm City, in the Northern part of the West Bank, and they were shocked to see the daily violations of our human rights. It depressed me that people outside of Palestine didn’t know what was happening. I felt helpless, but then I started to believe that we needed to let the world see more from the Palestinian perspective. I was inspired by the Palestinian journalists covering the Intifada, like Sherin abu Aqleh and Jevada al Budair, and I wanted to take the same road. After getting a PA degree in Journalism, I see myself as a filmmaker, and I feel the passion to document the real facts about this conflict.
Musaab Balchi (@MusaabBalchi) Freelance
The only things I know about Palestine are from videos and TV. As a Palestinian refugee I don’t have the opportunity to visit my country. When I was 10 years old, living in Yarmouk. I met a Palestinian Syrian journalist who covered the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. I realized I wanted to do the same thing one day. Now, after studying media, I am working as a journalist. I hope that one day I can report on the ground from Palestine, learning about my country and sharing its stories with the world.
Shireen Far (@Shireenfar) Freelance
Every day during the second Intifada in 2000, I had to pass through Qalandia checkpoint, which separates Ramallah City from Jerusalem, where I attended high school. One morning the Israeli soldiers closed the checkpoint and taunts started between them and the Palestinians who were waiting to pass through. Suddenly, the soldiers started shooting at us and my school colleague, Hiba, was badly injured. This experience made me realize how difficult our situation as Palestinians was and how the world needed to know what was happening to Palestinian children. I decided that I wanted to be a journalist in order to share the story of my people. Today through my reports and films, I have succeeded in telling a small part of the Palestinian story and I will continue to do so in any way possible.
Malak Hasan (@MalakHsn) Freelance
With the shaky voice of an amateur, I briefed Edmund Sanders from the LA Times about the mounting tensions in Ramallah. I hadn’t studied journalism in university and I was just a translator for the Palestine News Agency WAFA in the English desk. I wanted to be more, but working with journalists without a BA in journalism made me an outsider. I tried to prove myself to everyone but their eyes kept saying, “You are only an English graduate”. I knew that in order to prove myself to them, I had to start with myself. I started writing stories about Palestine for my agency and contributing to other organizations. I ran my own blog and took off to the streets to capture the daily lives of the average Palestinian. And after five years of hard work and struggle, I enrolled for an M.A. in media studies. Now, with a degree in my hand and an undying passion in my heart, I am in charge of the English webpage of the Palestine News Agency WAFA. I am determined more than ever to tell the real story with a confident Palestinian voice.
Abdelrahman Murad (@Abedomer) Freelance
As a young boy, I wanted to be a physician, but after the bombing in 2008, the urge to transcend the borders of my land led me to seek the space that learning a second language could offer. I decided to study english and was awakened to the power of words and the need for a stronger English narrative of the Palestine cause. Now, after two years of a diverse study experience in English news and feature writing, video producing, and editing, I am hopeful that more English language students in Palestine will ebe empowered to pursue journalism in English. More Palestinian journalists reporting in English would lend an international voice to so many Palestinians and ensure that the human rights violations of the occupation exposed to the world.
Shadi Sader (@ShadiSader) Freelance
Every morning I had to cross a checkpoint on my way to school. I hated crossing that checkpoint by myself. It was stressful, it took too long, and my marks suffered. The one bright spot was that, most days, I would get to see the local TV journalist, Waleed Al Omari, reporting from the checkpoint. I looked up to Waleed and decided that I too would be a journalist one day. Determined to change my life, I switched schools and improved my grades in order to qualify for the University journalism program. I see now that the difficult experience of crossing the checkpoint led me toward a new direction in my life.
Sabreen Taha (@Sabtaha) Freelance
Even though I grew up in Jerusalem, I didn’t really know much about my city or its people. When I was 13 years old, my teacher gave us an assignment to work on a project for the Palestinian Heritage day. I decided to produce a short video by interviewing people in the streets of the old city of Jerusalem. Learning about their lives made me realize how ignorant I was. I knew then that I wanted to become a journalist. I believe that documenting and sharing the old architecture, culture and customs is a form of resistance and respect.