Shireen Abu Akleh (1971-2022)

@shireenabuakleh @shireennasri

Shireen Abu Akleh – a renowned Palestinian American journalist who worked with Al Jazeera for more than 20 years – was a household name in Palestine and abroad. On May 11, 2022, Abu Akleh was killed by an Israeli soldier while on assignment covering a military raid on the Jenin refugee camp. Abu Akleh studied journalism at Yarmouk University in Jordan. In her early career, she worked at the Voice of Palestine and Monte Carlo. In 1997, Abu Akleh began working with Al Jazeera as a correspondent and became one of the first Arab women field reporters for the network. During the second Intifada, or uprising, Abu Akleh rose to prominence covering stories in the Arab world and abroad. She reported on the Israeli invasion of the Jenin refugee camp in 2002, the Gaza Wars of 2008, 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2021, the war on Lebanon in 2006, and the Arab Summit in Damascus and Egypt. Internationally, Abu Akleh covered multiple elections in the United Kingdom and United states as well as many other international events of importance. Abu Akleh was always eager to learn new skills and keep up with new technologies in journalism. In addition to co-founding Sawt Falasteen Radio, in 2020 Abu Akleh earned a diploma in Digital Media from Birzeit University. In the years following, she became a trainer at the university’s Media Development Center where she taught several courses to undergraduate students. In her career and in her personal life, Abu Akleh was consistently honored for her work, professionalism and courage. In 2020, she commented: “In addition to political issues [of the day], my concern has been – and will always be – the human story, and the daily suffering of my people under occupation.” Reacting to this posthumous award from the IWMF, Abu Akleh’s family commented, “We are honored that this year’s IWMF Courage in Journalism Award recognizes Shireen’s career, legacy and bravery. This award is a testament to Shireen’s courageous voice that echoed through every home in Palestine. Her work has inspired generations of young women and girls to pursue careers in journalism, and we hope this award will remind the world of Shireen’s legacy, reporting and contributions to journalism. Most importantly we hope the Courage Award will bring us closer to achieving accountability and justice. While our family continues to grieve this insurmountable loss, these honors bring us comfort and solace. Thank you, IWMF.”

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