Springfield, VA — Alhurra Television won a total of seven awards at the 2020 Telly Awards honoring excellence in video and television, including four awards for its series Alhurra Investigates.
The network was honored with two Gold Telly awards including one for Television: Best Political/Commentary for an Alhurra Investigates episode highlighting Saudi female activists. The program delved deeply into the reasons why women and dissidents are leaving Saudi Arabia, despite the Saudi government’s external message that a serious and radical reform is taking place.
The second Gold Telly was for Best Immersive and Mixed Reality: Use of AR, for the Alhurra Creative Services team that used augmented reality to explain Columbus Day to Arab audiences. The feature informed audiences in the Middle East about Columbus’s voyage to the “New World” and the history of U.S. exploration advancement throughout the years.
“These winning works showcase the excellent storytelling being done by Alhurra’s team of dedicated and very talented journalists and designers. I am incredibly proud of the work they have done bringing stories to life,” stated MBN President Amb. Alberto Fernandez. MBN overseas and manages Alhurra Television. “Many of these award-winning reports are not found on other Arab networks. Alhurra is able to report on these important stories in a way that captures the audiences’ attention through exceptional journalism.”
Alhurra won two Silver Telly Awards for its reporting in Iraq. The first Silver Telly was for the provocative Alhurra Investigates report highlighting corruption among Sunni and Shai religious endowments in Iraq, in the category of Television: Best Public Interest/Awareness. The program showed how religious figures were involved in phantom deals where money was paid for jobs never completed. It also showed how specific religious clerics were given special privileges, with the Iraqi judiciary not enforcing laws when these clerics were charged with embezzlement of millions of Iraqi dinars.
This episode saw immediate reaction with the Iraqi government calling for the suspension of Alhurra’s operations in Iraq. This was met by uproar in the media and journalistic organizations alike, many of whom stated that no one was questioning the accuracy of the reports, only that Alhurra had shed light on this controversial and underreported topic.
Alhurra’s second Silver Telly goes to Alhurra-Iraq’s Light Among Us episode for Television: Best Motivational. The show captured the life and resilience of an Iraqi disabled refugee who uses found objects and scrap metal to construct miniature recreations of military vehicles and armors used in the wars his country witnessed.
Two more Alhurra Investigates episodes, along with Sam and Ammar were awarded the Bronze Telly Awards. Alhurra won its second award in the category of Television: Best Political/Commentary, for Alhurra Investigates episode on the human trafficking of Yazidi children. The show reported on the nearly 1000 Iraqi children who disappeared in the last five years since ISIS took control of northern Iraq and are currently being sold to the highest bidder.
The second Alhurra Investigates episode investigated who is killing the Sudanese protesters and highlights the wars, assassinations and tensions raised by former Sudanese President al-Basheer’s Islamic Movement under the pretext of providing security and stability, with an emphasis on the 2013 protests against the al-Basheer regime and the death of hundreds of protesters. It won for Television: Best News or News Feature.
Alhurra’s Sam and Ammar was awarded the Bronze Telly for Television: Best Social Impact for its episode on slavery. The program delved into the brutal history of slavery around the world and examined the role of religion in supporting slavery. Hosts Sam Tadros and Ammar Abulhamid discussed how the United States was in its infancy and the Founding Fathers of the country feared that the issue of slavery would tear apart the country they were working to build.
The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring video and television across all screens. Established in 1979, The Telly Awards receives over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents. Entrants are judged by The Telly Awards Judging Council—an industry body of over 200 leading experts including advertising agencies, production companies, and major television networks, reflective of the multiscreen industry The Telly Awards celebrates.
The Middle East Broadcasting Networks is a non-profit corporation is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from USAGM. MBN operates Alhurra Television, an Arabic-language television network that broadcasts to 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa via satellite, as well as Alhurra-Iraq Television. MBN also operates Sawa, radio and its two dedicated streams, one to Iraq and the other to the Levant. It is available via FM throughout these two areas and provides more than 15 hours of news and information daily on each stream.
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Contact Deirdre Kline
Director of Communications, Alhurra Television, Radio Sawa