i want her to be able to take pictures, record video, and upload it to to the internet. can you do this with just any phone?
It's actually rare to find a cell phone these days that doesn't do all of that.
how do you "charge it up" with talk time? a credit card? would this be the same with getting internet service?
Scratch cards. 25 minutes of talk time or whatever. You can buy them just about anywhere. Call the special number. Type in the code on the card. Very simple. Same as US prepaid phones.
Cell phone data plans (internet) work the same way except your buying gigabytes instead of talk time.
I always paid with cash. I never used my credit/debit card except to withdraw money from ATM's on US/NATO bases. US Dollars and Euros are always accepted and often preferred.
$75-$100 would probably get a cheap smart phone plus talk time and data.
I haven't been overseas in nearly three years and it's been around five years since I was last in the middle east so my information is dated.