Gaza’s Youngest Storyteller – Who is Lama Abu Jamous?

Lama Abu Jamous, 9, is the youngest reporter from Gaza. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Nurah Tape – The Palestine Chronicle  

With only a phone in hand, 9-year-old Lama Abu Jamous is following in the footsteps of renowned journalists like Wael al-Dahdouh and telling the story of war-torn Gaza and the resilience of its people. 

“I love the journalism profession, (as) I am able to amplify the voices of the Palestinian children to the world,” Lama says confidently, as she documents the daily hardships that her family and countless others are experiencing amid Israel’s ongoing bombardment of the enclave.

Lama’s family was forced to flee their home in Gaza City to Khan Yunis, and then displaced again to Rafah, in the south. 

Her uncle, Ahmad Abu Jamous, says that Lama is a “social person” and since she “was very little, she has (had) this lovely talent of engaging in discussions.”

“When the war started, we noticed she had something to say. She grabbed the phone and started making vlogs to talk about the situation in Gaza, the bombardment and the displacement of people,” Ahmad explained in a media interview.

Lama, whose father is also reportedly a journalist, began capturing what she was witnessing and experiencing in Gaza on her mother’s phone, and uploading it to her Instagram page, which now has more than 750,000 followers. 

“I love holding the camera and photographing people…to convey my photos and the photos of everyone around to the whole world,” Lama said in an interview, adding that “I like to post videos related to the war (in Gaza) on Instagram… I want the world to hear the voices of the children of Palestine.”

“We are experiencing torture, starvation, and forced displacement amidst all this and we want the world to listen,” she said.

With UNICEF declaring that Gaza is “the most dangerous place in the world to be a child,” and where more journalists have been killed in the first ten weeks of Israel’s military assault than have ever been killed in a single country over an entire year, Lama’s voice is a brave and hopeful one. 

In recent videos, Lama captures the life of the displaced living in camps in Rafah with minimal access to water or food, interviewing children and the adults around her. In one video she speaks unphased as a low-flying Israeli military aircraft nearly drowns out her voice.

“My message to the world is to stop the bombing,” she says. “Wherever we go, there is bombardment. We need a safe zone. We don’t want war.”

In December, she interviewed Al Jazeera’s Wael Al Dahdouh, saying “What is your message, Uncle Wael?”

Al Dahdouh, in reply, spoke of the pain and “heavy price” the Palestinian people are paying.  

But at the same time, he said, as he turned to her, “As long as we have people like you with a beautiful smile, then God Willing, we will overcome this ordeal with merit and forbearance.”

Lama, the young storyteller, is certainly holding up the flag for occupied Palestine and answering the call of slain Dr Refaat Alareer when he wrote: “If I must die, You must live to tell my story… If I must die, Let it bring hope, Let it be a tale.”

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 25,105 Palestinians have been killed, and 62,681 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

– Nurah Tape is a South Africa-based journalist. She is an editor with The Palestine Chronicle.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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