Mokhtar El-Sharafi, 2016 winner
Alhurra correspondent Mokhtar El-Sharafi is one of three MBN correspondents recognized for their bravery and integrity as they have taken extreme risks to impart news and information to serve the public across the Middle East and North Africa.
Yemen’s war has brought catastrophic consequences resulting in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Due to airstrikes, shelling, and street-by-street urban combat, civilians and journalists are at constant risk of death and injury. Many local journalists have fled the country in fear of widespread violence as well as abductions, kidnappings, arbitrary arrests, and torture.
El-Sharafi is a persistent and courageous reporter who provided comprehensive reports on the security situation in Yemen from the northern province of Saada, the capital Sana’a and the northern province of Hajja.
Mokhtar was undeterred and continued reporting in the face of threats. In one instance, he risked his life and traveled to the Saudi-Yemeni border town of Hajja to provide viewers a first-hand account of the heavy clashes between Saudi forces and Houthi militants. He provided outstanding reports on the security situation there and consistently achieved excellence in his television reporting.
Mokhtar explored Yemen’s war in significant depth and shed light on the excruciating human and cultural tragedy that has engulfed the war-torn country. He addressed topics left uncovered by many local and pan-Arab media outlets, such as the damage and destruction done by the coalition airstrikes and local attacks between Hadi supporters and the Houthis and their ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, to the historic al-Qasimi neighborhood in Sana’a Old City, one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage sites where 6,000 centuries old historical houses have been reduced to rubble.
His reports also addressed the suffering of those in need. He delved deeply in his reports into the enormous strain the already fragile health system has come under and the collapse of health services due to heavy bombardment and air strikes combined with continuous fighting. Despite the deep security challenges, he addressed the human tragedy in a vivid picture allowing the world to confront the otherwise incomprehensible suffering of innocent civilians.