Video - 'Newton of Gaza': 15-year-old Palestinian prodigy builds windmill to light up family tent in Rafah camp

Ahram Online , Thursday 8 Feb 2024

Israeli bombardment displaced 15-year-old Hussam Mohamed Al-Attar with his family from Beit Lahia to Gaza City to Khan Younis and eventually to a tent in a camp for the displaced in Rafah in southern Gaza.



Hussam's camp lacked electricity amid a near-total Israeli blockade on fuel needed to generate electricity.

So he decided to go to work to insert some light into his family's tent.

Hussam collected some discarded fans and dynamo motors from a nearby scrap market.

He connected wires to batteries he took from his hometown in Beit Lahia.

He put all devices together and built a makeshift windmill that generated some much-needed electricity. 

"Initially, the idea didn’t appeal to my family, who did not understand what I was going to do. But when it succeeded, they were very happy," he told Al Jazeera.

"Even our neighbours in the camp were delighted and started calling me “Newton of Gaza,” a delighted Hussam added.

"The first fan did not work, so I brought another fan and installed it, and it worked."

Hussam proudly described how he managed the electrical box he created to feed the windmill.

"When the wind speed decreases, I turn off these switches, lift this (light bulb), and the light turns on," he said as he took reporters on a small tour of his invention. 

"It also saves energy," he added.

"Now I’m thinking of illuminating the entire camp to alleviate the suffering we are going through."

"Next, I’ll invent a water pump for the camp."

Hussam, who is one of hundreds of thousands of children who have not been able to go to school since the start of the Israeli aggression, said he looks forward to going to university.

"There are no more schools and universities left after all the destruction of schools and universities in the Gaza Strip. We live under a blockade here."

"But I hope someone supports me so I can continue my education abroad in future," Hussam said.


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