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Boy from Gaza wants to be a journalist - picture spreads all over world

Published torsdag 31 juli 2014 kl 16.37
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Johan-Mathias Sommarström and boy dressed up like journalist in Gaza. Photo: Sveriges Radio.
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Boy in Gaza dressed-up like journalist. Photo: Scanpix // Johan-Mathias Sommarström

A Swedish Radio journalist in Gaza tweeted a picture of a young Palestinian boy pretending to be a journalist and the picture quickly became one of the most shared pictures from Gaza.

On Thursday Swedish Radio Gaza correspondent Johan-Matthias Sommarström took a picture of a Palestinian boy dressed-up as a journalist, wearing a "TV" helmet a "flak jacket" made from a garbage bag.

"Young boy in #Gaza pretending to be a journalist with his home-made flak jacket, had to lend him my helmet," Sommarström wrote in his tweet.

Within two hours of being posted on Twitter, the picture had over 1,400 shares and quickly became one of the most shared pictures from Gaza. As of late Thursday afternoon, around five hours after being posted, the tweet had over 3,500 shares.

"Working in war means that you see things you do not want to see. Dead children torn beyond recognition, desperate parents, endless sorrow, destroyed homes," Sommarström said.

After working in Gaza City all afternoon, he said that he went back to his hotel, which is in an area where many international journalists are staying.

Then the young boy, dressed as a journalist, approached him.

"I am a journalist," the boy said, "I am reporting on what is happening here, this is my flak jacket."

Sommarström said that he then put his helmet on the boy's head.

"For a moment he shone with pride. His friends were laughing happily and dancing around him. He got a little embarrassed and then I took the picture," Sommarström said.

"For me the picture is a powerful example of children's strong will to survive. He has seen us journalists go in and out of the hotel, he has seen that we survive. I think that in his pretending play he wants to be like us, someone who survives," Sommarström said.

Here is Sommarström's original tweet:

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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