Muhammad Najem lives a different life than the typical teen you might know. Sure, he plays soccer, studies his textbooks, and tweets a lot. But Muhammad is also living in Damascus, a suburb of Eastern Ghouta, Syria, serving as a teen combat reporter of sorts as the area has been under attack the past couple of weeks.
Damascus has been under siege for almost five years now, a final holdout of the rebels against the Assad regime and its Russian-backed military force. A surge of airstrikes has recently hit the province. Planes in these airstrikes dropped shrapnel and explosives down on to the suburbs, killing more than 400 civilians over a three-day period.
via: YouTube | Muhammad Najem
Najem, 15, documents the ongoing conflict in selfie-style videos that he posts to his Twitter and YouTube channel. He mainly reports on the current events, also interviewing local children about their opinions and prayers. Just yesterday, he posted this video of the barrels falling above his house and the screams that accompanied it.
Najem has not gone to school in three months. Images from his Twitter show the now unuseable classrooms. He now studies by candlelight. In a tweet from February 13th, he said:
“I’m like any other kid in al - Ghouta. Instead of going to school, I go to buy some wood so my mother can cook some lunch. I hope the war ends and we can all go back to school.”
Even though the UN called for a ceasefire,the airstrikes have continued. It is impossible to know how long they will continue. As Najem said in a piece for I News last week, “We do not know what tomorrow brings."
written by Ilana Maiman
video by Elwood Walker