Arab broadcasters named among most influential war reporters

Rebecca Hawkes | 17-10-2013

Seven Arab women broadcasters have been named by UK-based charity Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) as among the 100 most influential journalists covering armed violence.

Zeina Khodr and Hoda Abdel-Hamid at Al Jazeera English, Nima Elbagir at CNN, Jenan Moussa of Al-Aan TV, Rima Maktabi at Al-Arabiya, the BBC's 'Tripoli Witness' Rana Jawad, and Leila Fadel, Cairo Bureau Chief of National Public Radio, were joined by Hala Jaber of the Sunday Times in the list of Arab women recognised for their ground-breaking war reporting.

The BBC's Jeremy Bowen and Christiane Amanpour of CNN were among the wider list of key conflict correspondents highlighted by AOAV.

"Journalists are the bridge between those peaceful and violent worlds. Without their bravery and determination to bring the realities of armed violence to the rest of the world, we would neither understand nor be able to address the issues that cause and propagate violence," said AOAV.

Rima Maktabi was one of the first female Arabic TV journalists to cover conflicts in the Middle East, and her coverage of the Israel-Hezbollah war of 2006 bringing her to the attention of the AOAV.

"Her continuing work on the Arab Spring and the Syrian civil war has cemented her position as one of the rising stars of war correspondence," Jacob Parakilas, senior weapons researcher, AOAV, told Al Arabiya News.

"Despite our best efforts, the list reflected the fact that war correspondence is not yet as diverse an occupation as might be hoped. But the number of Middle Eastern reporters on the list is higher than it would have been just a few years ago, and if the contributions of talented and courageous individuals such as Rima Maktabi are any indication, the diversity of the profession will only grow with time," said Parakilas.