I want to be a role model for Palestinian refugees
Despite growing up in the tough living conditions in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, Jihad Mousa, 24-year-old, is now employed and working to become a teacher. “I picture myself teaching in universities and colleges with my PhD and second Master's degree in Media. I want to be a role model for Palestinian refugees, motivating and inspiring them to work hard for their future .”
Since he was a child, Jihad knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. He would walk around the house with a wooden spoon in his hand pretending to present the news. He would point at the TV and say: “I want to be just like my uncle”, referring to the 8pm newscaster.
However, being the eldest child in the family, Jihad felt compelled to work from the age of 13 to secure money for his studies. Afraid of not being able to strike a balance between his academics and job, his hard work and devotion got him through and led him to where he is now.
Jihad graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Radio and TV from the Lebanese International University (LIU) and throughout his studies he volunteered to gain work experience. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, however, he was forced to stay at home. With jobs and opportunities becoming scarce, Jihad found it difficult to obtain a job at a time when most institutions were laying off employees.
As part of SPARK’s programme financed by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, that supports Syrian, Palestinian and other youth in vulnerable positions with internship opportunities, Jihad was offered a three-month internship at LIU.
“SPARK lent me a helping hand just when I needed it most. I needed the experience and I needed the money”. After just two months of his internship, the university offered Jihad a secure job as a student affairs officer. He loved working with other young people and decided to pursue his Masters in Education.
He says: “If I can’t be the TV presenter, I can at least teach it and assist a generation of young people to realise their ambitions to be broadcasters.” Jihad is now making his first steps in the world of lecturing. So far, he’s been assisting lecturers at LIU besides his student affairs role but is working towards running his own classes and teaching students to become great newscasters.
“The more life gets tough, the harder I work; as I am reminded of where I want to be, and the more motivated I am to do better to achieve my dreams.”
Jihad’s dedication for a bright future, for him, and refugees alike, will not be stopped by political or economic barriers. “I picture myself teaching in universities and colleges with my PhD and second Master’s degree in Media. I want to be a role model for Palestinian refugees, motivating and inspiring them to work hard for their future and demonstrating that Palestinian refugees can be doctors, scientists, and teachers.”