Having now survived Fresher's week and completed my first official day as a student at the Centre for Journalism, I must say I'm buzzing to work my way through this course. 

The prospect of experiencing the acamedic modules and practical tasks was exciting enough, but several other opportunities have presented themselves to me, making my first week a bit of a whirlwind.

A lot of you have probably heard about the teenager Ibrahim Kamara, who was killed in Syria last week, after travelling to the country to, may I just point out, fight AGAINST Isis.

I went to school with 'Iby' as we called him, so Rob encouraged me to write a short story about him and send it over. Things moved fast and I sent it to a reporter at the Argus in Brighton and Rob got in contact with someone at the Daily Mail. 

I got a call from a Mail reporter who quoted some sections of my piece in her article, and from there, BBC South East Today got in touch and came to interview me. The clip appeared on South East Today that evening (cue hysterical phonecalls from members of my family proclaiming my new-found fame) and I was glad that the Ibrahim I knew was getting some air time, rather than being known simply as the young man who turned to Jihad. 

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the issue on my Facebook news feed since myself and my school friends learnt of his death. Tribute posts have been swamped with arguments and discussions regarding whether he should rest in peace, or whether he deserved what he got, for joining a group that has comitted such atrocities. Personally, I believe that no one deserves to die. Death is no punishment. To be captured, tried and sentenced for your crimes is how it works for this country and the people in it, no matter how awful or controversial the crime.

In fact, the only people who suffer are Ibrahim's family, who had no involvement whatsoever in his activities. They are just another set of victims in this senseless conflict, which, now that the UK are involved in the resistance, could become a whole lot more real for our citizens. 

For me, to have an acquaintance killed was a shocking and deeply saddening experience. It brings it home that no matter who you are or where you are from, the issues of this world can reach you. I honestly hope that Iby does rest in paradise, because the boy I knew was sweet, funny and happy and didn't deserve to have his time cut short.

Alys :)


Well done Alys! Really brave of you and nice to read something positive from this whole situation for a change :)

Great work Alys. And proof that when the news comes calling, you have to act quickly. It's a very perishable product.

Don't suppose anybody grabbed the BBC South East clip? It's already disappeared from the iPlayer.

Ian Reeves is head of the Centre for Journalism

I have a recorded video of the clip on my phone - it's not great quality but it's all I have!

Laura Garcia's picture

The team at South East are lovely =).  If you email whoever contacted you for an interview I'm sure they will be able to send you a video file of the package. 

Laura Garcia

Graduate Teaching Assistant and hopeless nerd - @lauragrb

It was a pleasure to read yours/Ibrahim's story. Thank-you for telling it and sharing your thoughts.  And I'm happy you had such a good experience in getting it to South East and the Mail. 

New to the news!