Saida Ramadan | 1996 Courage in Journalism Award
Al-Alam Al-Youm, Sudan
Ramadan began work as a staff editor at the Egyptian daily Al-Alam Al-Youm, where she continued to express views against the Sudanese regime. She was blacklisted by the National Islamic Front, threatened and physically assaulted. She was the first Sudanese opposition journalist to write from exile, and as a result, Sudanese authorities refused to renew her passport.
Upon receiving her Courage in Journalism Award Ramadan said, “I’m only one of many Sudanese journalists who are oppressed because of their political opinions. This award is for the Egyptian media for giving me a place in which I can voice my opinion.”
She worked for the Sudanese newspaper Al-Ayam in Cairo from 1978 to June 1989, when the newspaper was banned after fundamentalist coup d?etat took place and started military-religious dictatorship.
She published several articles against Islamic fundamentalism and was involved in several confrontations with Hassan Al-Turabi, leader of the Islamic Front, which supported the maintenance of an Islamic state run on sharia and rejected the concept of a secular state.
After leaving Al-Ayam, she wrote for Cairo-based newspapers, continuing to fight against Sudan?s dictatorship. She was an editor for a specialized page against the Khartoum regime in the Egyptian opposition newspaper Al-Wafd, and she also published articles in Rose El-Youssef magazine and Al-Destour newspaper against the ruling regime in Sudan.
?Every morning, I began my day by getting ready to go to work, and as always, my little 13 year old daughter, Sara says ?please be careful mommy, take care of yourself.? My daughter is always faced with news about journalists killed by terrorists every day,? Ramadan said when accepting the 1996 Courage in Journalism Award.
?I can?t lie that I was deathly afraid,? she said. ?I knew that my only sword was my pen against the fundamentalists? bullets. Yes, I refused to remain silent.?
Ramadan was the first Sudanese woman to get a Bachelor?s Degree in Journalism. She graduated from Cairo University in 1975.
Saida Ramadan is the first Courage in Journalism Award winner from Sudan, followed by Amal Abbas (2001).