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Join us for a panel discussion moderated by editor Zahra Hankir, with journalists Aida Alami, Eman Helal, and Heba Shibani on Our Women on the Ground: Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World – a book bringing together nineteen Arab women journalists to reflect on how they report on their changing homelands in this first-of-its-kind essay collection. In their own words, they talk about what it’s like to report on conflicts that, quite literally, hit close to home.
A growing number of intrepid Arab and Middle Eastern sahafiyat—female journalists—are working tirelessly to shape nuanced narratives about their changing homelands, often risking their lives on the front lines of war. From sexual harassment on the streets of Cairo to the difficulty of traveling without a male relative in Yemen, their challenges are unique—as are their advantages, such as being able to speak candidly with other women at a Syrian medical clinic or with men on WhatsApp who will go on to become ISIS fighters, rebels, or pro-regime soldiers.
Zahra Hankir is a Lebanese journalist who writes about the intersection of politics, culture, and society in the Middle East. She is the editor of Our Women on the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting From the Arab World, and is currently working on a book about the cultural history of eyeliner, due for publication by Penguin Books in 2023.
Image courtesy of Maria Wilson
Aida Alami is a Moroccan freelance journalist, reporting from North Africa, France, the Caribbean, and more recently, Senegal. She regularly contributes to the New York Times, and her work has also been published by the New York Review of Books, The Financial Times, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera English and Foreign Policy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in media studies at Hunter College and her master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University. She mainly covers migration, human rights, religion, politics and racism. These days, Aida spends a lot of time in France, where she is directing a documentary feature on antiracism activists and police violence.
Eman Helal is an Egyptian freelance photographer based in Germany, covering the Middle East, Africa and USA. She is dedicated to covering hard news and documentary projects with a human rights focus, especially related to women rights and religious minorities. In Egypt she worked for years in a long-term project about sexual harassment, attracting international attention. For this work, she received the Portenier Human Rights Bursary 2016 & Egypt Press Photo Awards, First Place for multimedia 2014. Helal was a Human Rights Fellow at Magnum foundation in 2013 & 2016. She also participated in the 22nd edition of Joop Swart Masterclass in 2015. She finished her diploma in photography from the Danish school of media and Journalism in 2018. She is currently a Masters student at FH-Bielefeld.
Heba Shibani is a Libyan journalist, Television producer, photographer, and documentary filmmaker. She has held positions at a number of Libyan and international media outlets, including Reuters, Libya TV, Alassema TV, and Alnabaa News TV. She has also worked as an international correspondent for a number of Libyan Channels in the EU. In 2014, the civil war in Tripoli forced Shibani to flee Libya along with her family, in part due to her coverage of the conflict. Shibani considers herself a women’s rights activist, having produced television shows focusing on political and civil rights education for Libyan women. She currently resides in Malta, where she works as a media producer.Book Tickets