What is it like to be a female journalist in Middle East war zones? Does gender play a role in reporting the news? Al-Monitor posed these questions to 16 women reporters covering conflicts throughout the region and their responses are quite varied. Excerpts from their statements include:
“I believe that female journalists have an advantage over their male colleagues. Particularly in conservative societies, we can cross the ‘gender divide' with ease.” - Deborah Amos, reporter for NPR
“As far as I’m concerned, I am a journalist. Period. My gender doesn’t come into it. Judge my work, not my work based on my gender.” -Rania Abouzeid, reporter for Time magazine
“Mob assaults on women in mass demonstrations made the gender-based threat unavoidable. 'I’d rather be shot than sexually molested' is a statement I often heard and repeated. It’s difficult to shake off that fear, but it can be pushed to the back of the mind. I come from a newsroom that was dominated by women, which cemented the idea that gender is irrelevant to the job. And this is what I choose to believe every day." -Sarah el-Sirgany, contributer to Al-Monitor’s Egypt Pulse.
Read their full statements and those of 13 other women at Al-Monitor.
Artist Molly Crabapple has completed sketches based on the scenes presented in the source’s photos. “With the exception of Vice News, ISIS has permitted no foreign journalists to document life under their rule in Raqqa,” Crabapple wrote. “Instead, they rely on their own propaganda. To create these images, I drew from cell-phone photos a Syrian sent me of daily life in the city. Like the Internet, art evades censorship.”
Rafidah Yassin,a Sudanese reporter and one of the most prominent names in the Arab media, particularly through her work as a reporter roving channel Sky News Arabic ..covered all the hot events in Egypt, Libya and now Syria. exposed to a range of problems, including kidnappings and death threats, most recently from a group Daash „ media distinct and ambitious worked in many of the Egyptian newspapers philosophy graduate of Ain Shams University
رفيدة ياسين من ابرز الاسماء في الاعلام العربي وتحديدا من خلال عملها كمراسلة متجولة بقناة اسكاي نيوز العربية ..غطت كل الاحداث الساخنة في مصر وليبا وحاليا سوريا تعرضت لمجموعة من المشاكل منها الخطف والتهديد بالقتل واخرها من جماعة داعش ،، اعلامية متميزة وطموحة عملت في عديد من الصحف المصرية خريجة فلسفة جامعة عين شمس
The first time I experienced what I now understand to be post-traumatic stress disorder, I was in a subway station in New York City, where I live. It was almost a year before the attacks of 9/11, and I’d just come back from two months in Afghanistan with Ahmad Shah Massoud, the leader of the Northern Alliance. I was on assignment to write a profile of Massoud, who fought a desperate resistance against the Taliban until they assassinated him two days before 9/11. At one point during my trip we were on a frontline position that his forces had just taken over from the Taliban, and the inevitable counterattack started with an hour-long rocket barrage. All we could do was curl up in the trenches and hope. I felt deranged for days afterward, as if I’d lived through the end of the world.By the time I got home, though, I wasn’t thinking about that or any of the other horrific things we’d seen; I mentally buried all of it until one day, a few months later, when I went into the subway at rush hour to catch the C train downtown. Suddenly I found myself backed up against a metal support column, absolutely convinced I was going to die. There were too many people on the platform, the trains were coming into the station too fast, the lights were too bright, the world was too loud. I couldn’t quite explain what was wrong, but I was far more scared than I’d ever been in Afghanistan.
Steven Sotloff, a loyal and honest journalist passionate about truth and justice for Muslims and other people suffering in the Arab world, heinously killed at the hands of (perverted) people who (illegitimately) call themselves Muslims.
Steven’s efforts and passion for truth and justice will not be forgotten by the majority of Muslims and Arabs who condemn ISIS and its despicable and unjustifiable actions.
Islamist extremists behead Western journalists in Syria, massacre thousands of Iraqis, murder 132 Pakistani schoolchildren, kill a Canadian soldier and take hostage cafe patrons in Australia. Now, two gunmen have massacred a dozen people in the office of a Paris newspaper.
The rash of horrific attacks in the name of Islam is spurring an anguished debate among Muslims here in the heart of the Islamic world about why their religion appears cited so often as a cause for violence and bloodshed.
The majority of scholars and the faithful say Islam is no more inherently violent than other religions. But some Muslims — most notably the president of Egypt — argue that the contemporary understanding of their religion is infected with justifications for violence, requiring the government and its official clerics to correct the teaching of Islam.
“It is unbelievable that the thought we hold holy pushes the Muslim community to be a source of worry, fear, danger, murder and destruction to all the world,” President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt lamented last week in a speech to the clerics of the official religious establishment. “You need to stand sternly,” he told them, calling for no less than “a religious revolution.”
Others, though, insist that the sources of the violence are alienation and resentment, not theology. They argue that the authoritarian rulers of Arab states — who have tried for decades to control Muslim teaching and the application of Islamic law — have set off a violent backlash expressed in religious ideas and language. Promoted by groups like the Islamic State or Al Qaeda, that discourse echoes through Muslim communities as far away as New York or Paris, whose influence and culture still loom over much of the Muslim world.
“Some people who feel crushed or ignored will go toward extremism, and they use religion because that is what they have at hand,” said Said Ferjani, an official of Tunisia’s mainstream Islamist party, Ennahda, speaking about the broader phenomenon of violence in the name of Islam. “If you are attacked and you have a fork in your hand, you will fight back with a fork.”
James Foley, an American journalist who went missing in Syria in November 2012, died at the hands of Islamic State militants.
Foley’s friends and family remember a talented, generous and faithful person who “gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people” and the horrors of war.
His 2012 disappearance marked the second time Foley had been captured in the thick of political and social unrest. The first came in 2011 when Foley was reporting from the middle of the Libyan civil war. Qaddafi loyalists kidnapped him and fellow journalist Clare Morgana Gillis and held them captive for 44 days, during which time, Foley later recounted, he often turned to prayer to maintain hope.
Foley describes the role prayer played in his life during those days in captivity, his Catholic faith and the only call home his captors allowed him: I began to pray the rosary. It was what my mother and grandmother would have prayed. I said 10 Hail Marys between each Our Father. It took a long time, almost an hour to count 100 Hail Marys off on my knuckles. And it helped to keep my mind focused.
Clare and I prayed together out loud. It felt energizing to speak our weaknesses and hopes together, as if in a conversation with God, rather than silently and alone.
One of the first things the Islamic State militants did after capturing the town of Raqqa in Syria early last year was paint the city black. Once the canvas for colorful murals, walls and monuments were covered with the black flag of the extremists.
Darkness further descended as ISIS began preventing people from moving freely in and out of the city, and communicating with the outside world. With time, their slick propaganda videos became the only view of Raqqa.
But despite threats and brutal executions, one group of young activists refuse to be cowed. The group, known as Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, continues to show the world what life under ISIS domination is really like, using social media to share photos, videos, and news from the city.