Alhurra Journalists on the Front Lines
Every day, Alhurra Television’s dedicated team of journalists regularly risk their lives to bring viewers the latest news and information from the Middle East. On Sunday, July 13th, Alhurra correspondent Maithem Al Shibani and his cameraman were embedded with an Iraqi military convoy in North Babylon when clashes broke out between the Iraq military and ISIL. The exchange occurred over six hours. During the exchange of fire Shibani suffered shrapnel injuries to his hand. The cameraman sustained injuries to his chest, back, head and hands and is currently being treated in a nearby hospital. In spite of the danger Shibani witnessed, he still filed a report on the harrowing experience.
Similarly, on July 15th Alhurra correspondent Yehia Qassem was reporting from Sderot, Israel, (near Gaza) during The World Today newscast, when two rockets exploded behind him while he was live on the air. Qassem never stopped his camera rolling or his live coverage throughout the ordeal. Approximately 2 minutes into his report, Yehia hears the warning sirens and then rockets land behind where he was standing.
“Alhurra and Radio Sawa journalists risk their lives every day, reporting from such risky locations where there are extensive clashes and unrest. Each and every day I am amazed at their professionalism and bravery as they continue with this vital work of bringing accurate and objective news to the region,” stated Brian Conniff, President of MBN that manages and oversees Alhurra Television and Radio Sawa.
The Committee to Protect Journalist listed three countries in the Middle East/North Africa region as the three deadliest countries for journalists in 2013-Syria, Iraq and Egypt-with 44 confirmed deaths. Freedom House’s 2014 Press Freedom Report showed that the Middle East region has the world’s poorest ratings’ with no country ranked in the “Free” category.