- Title: Young refugees set up news channel at Beirut camp
- Date: 24th July 2017
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (JULY 18, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE IN THE STREETS OF SHATILA CAMP
- Embargoed: 7th August 2017 11:48
- Keywords: Lebanon media Beirut refugee camp Lebanon's Shatila camp online news channel 'Campji' media initiative Young Palestinians and Syrian refugees
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0076R2R905
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Many refugees don't get a second chance at a new career but, in Beirut, a media initiative is hoping to throw a lifeline to young refugees looking for a new opportunity.
Young Palestinians and Syrians at the Shatila refugee camp in the city are producing high quality content for an online news channel 'Campji'.
The project was launched with the help of extensive training by local NGO Basmeh & Zeitouneh in partnership with Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
Campji project director Lina Abdel Aziz said participants were enthusiastic about their journalism and their stories reflect "the issues of the people of Shatila".
Campji uses a mixture of formats, from short entertainment clips to longer investigative news reports.
Abdel Aziz says one of the objectives of the channel was to challenge the stereotypical image of refugees and to show the camp as, "just a gathering for people whose circumstances forced them to displace".
Campji journalist and Palestinian refugee Ahmad Mansour arrived in Lebanon some five years ago after his family fled the Yarmouk camp in Syria.
Now Mansour aspires to be a successful journalist, reflecting life in camps for Palestinian and Syrian refugees.
He said that free training opportunities were rare in the Middle East and that there are many talented people at the camp.
"I had this Campji opportunity and it is a great opportunity as I was not able to continue my education but I could do something with my future. Such opportunities are rare in the Arab world - for someone to train to become a journalist in a year. The training was strong and it also reflects the social reality of the camp, meaning it is true we have lots of problems in the camp but we also have good things and very talented people," he said.
Batoul Ghizawi, another Campji journalist trainee and Syrian camp resident who has lived there her whole life said she had been studying at university but was forced to drop out due to financial difficulties.
She said she felt the opportunity to work for Campji would prepare her for future employment far better than journalists who learn the trade through traditional studying.
"I think our work here is harder than the outside, because here, there are bad living situations and different circumstances than areas out there. So I will surely be ready and maybe even more than journalists who studied at university and are now working out there," she said.
Following its success, the Campji program is now expanding to offer opportunities to refugees from other parts of Beirut, Bekaa and Tripoli hoping the model can one day be replicated in the entire region.
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