Muhammad Najem, War Reporter by Muhammad Najem, Nora Neus and Julie Robine is a new middle-grade graphic memoir about the author, who grew up in a Damascus suburb targeted by the Assad regime, and how he was driven to report on the Syrian conflict's effects on children like him by interviewing, recording, and posting his selfie news reports on social media, where they drew international attention. The story of someone being in the wrong place at the right time and transforming his life into a mouthpiece to the world.
The 18-year-old Muhammad Najem's father was killed by a bomb in 2015, and he lived through Assad's "starve-and-surrender siege" with Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations special envoy for Syria, describing his home of Eastern Ghouta as representing the centre of Syrian suffering His older brother Qusay Noor was a photojournalist, and Najeem literally followed in his footsteps. Between them and their sister, Hiba, who could translate into English, they arranged a social media campaign to raise the issues the family were suffering with the Western World.
They conducted interviews, and talked about their hopes in life, uploading the videos to YouTube, and after months began to go viral, being picked up by CNN in 2018. While Russia Today accused him of being a "crisis actor", faking the strikes and working with Hollywood. Forcibly evacuated to another province, he filmed other children his age to tell their stories, until he could move with his family to Turkey. He has continued to run reports, and now he's turning a number of them into comic books, a graphic memoir.
Muhammad Najem, War Reporter will be published in the autumn of 2022 by Andrea Colvin at Little, Brown. Wendi Gu at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates acted as agents for Muhammad Najem and Nora Neus and Tanya McKinnon at McKinnon Literary represented artist Julie Robine.