Teen refugee tells Paige how she fled Libya after aunt’s murder

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PAIGE BRADLEY had no idea that within weeks of turning up to study journalism at Coventry University, she would find herself scouring troubled parts of the world – via the internet – to track down people caught up in the 2015 refugee crisis. But when first-year students were asked to find stories for an international student media project, she took it as a licence to be ambitious. Here, she tells how she went about it.

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 16.22.49I spoke to a women’s rights activist called Rothna Begum.

She was in a European country, but she works in the Middle East. I tweeted her and she replied, and she did a Skype interview.

It was really good. She talked about how women feel like they need to be segregated in the camps.

Many of the toilets are mixed gender, which leads to many women getting raped while trying to go to the bathroom, so they just don’t go there.

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 16.22.21Nada el Majri is the 14-year-old neice of a famous women’s activist in Libya who was assassinated. She’s now in Jordan.

I found her through her blog. I left a comment explaining the pop-up newsroom and asking if she would like to talk more.

The charity she is working with, Peace is Loud, contacted her through email and set up the interview.

She told me her story but while I was talking to her she was quite inspirational because she never felt bad for herself. She felt guilty that she was able to get out and she was still able to go to school, unlike many girls in Libya.

She spoke highly of her aunt. She had such a big impact in Libya that during her funeral, women came from across the country to go to the burial. Women don’t normally do that. She explained it as like a revolution.

It was really inspiring and it made me realise she is the type of person I want to interview. I want to give a voice to people who don’t have a voice themselves, through journalism.

Paige’s interviews were part of Coventry University’s contribution to a global pop-up newsroom project on migration, featuring seven universities in six countries. Visit the website here.

WATCH:
Rothna Begum full interview
Nada el Majri full interview

SEE ALSO:
Prize-winner Amel: from migrant camp to the US

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Simon Pipe is a former print and BBC journalist, now a member of the Journalism teaching team at Coventry University. He also runs an experimental website, St Helena Online, about one of the world's most remote inhabited islands, at www.sthelenaonline.org On Twitter, when he has something to say, he is @simonpipe

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