On 12 October 2023, the winners of the first Qarib Journalism Awards were announced at the residence of the French Ambassador to Jordan, Alexis Le Court Grandmaison, in the presence of journalists, media representatives, partners and friends from the programme countries Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine.
More than 100 journalists submitted their productions in the categories for the best coverage of the environment and climate change, marginalised groups and minorities, and economic and political reporting by women journalists. The jury, consisting of Thierry Valat, CEO of the French media development agency CFI, Rana Sabbagh, senior editor at the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Maya Beidoun, editor-in-chief of France 24, selected 15 journalists who demonstrated exceptional commitment, courage and professionalism in their journalistic work. These journalists navigated complex political contexts, delved deep into social issues, and established close ties to people representing the lives of millions in the Arab region. You can find the winner and their stories below.
In light of the worrying events in Palestine, Thierry Vallat, CEO of CFI, stressed the importance of allowing journalists to work without fear of attack and conveyed his best wishes to those who could not attend the award ceremony. Also, the French Ambassador in Amman, Alexis Le Cour Grandmaison, recalled the power of words to shape narratives and the great responsibility journalists have to choose their words critically and carefully to tell a story, drawing parallels with the tradition of Arab storytellers, the Hakawati.
Despite the events in Palestine, which do not provide the appropriate context for celebration, we were still able to highlight the relevance of professional, outstanding and fact-based stories and hereby congratulate once again the outstanding winners:
Best coverage of security and politics by female journalists
- “Tortured Iraqis confess to crimes they didn’t commit” – Baneen Elias, Iraq
- “Between Syria and North Lebanon: A complex system of illegal migration networks” – Jana Dhaybi, Lebanon
- “Pregnancy discrimination in Jordan’s private schools” – Shefa’a Al-Qudah, Jordan
Best business and economy reporting by female journalists
- “‘There is nothing wrong with being a female broker, it’s a profession” – Tala Al-Sharif, Palestine
- “Wealth Created by Women, Claimed by Men” – Kahteera, Lebanon
Best Reports on Climate Change and Environment:
- “The Honey Mesquite: An invasive threat to Jordan’s ecosystem” – Salam Akram & Mamdouh Al-Hanahna, Jordan
- “Women in Jordan: The forgotten victims of climate change” – Farah Atiyat, Jordan
- “Unraveling Tripoli’s ‘Death Mountain’ in Lebanon” – Joudy Al-Asmar, Lebanon
- “Cancerous emissions in Gaza” – Mostafa Al-Dahdouh, Palestine
- “Changing challenges for the Diyala River: From floods to drought and desertification” – Hussain Rasheed, Iraq
Best coverage of minorities
- “The plight of minorities in Iraq: Between violence, discrimination and erasure in face of continuous emigration” – Nawzat Shamdin, Iraq
- “The Baha’is in Iraq: From closures of places of worship to negotiations over the constitution” -Mobeen Kishany, Iraq
- “Excluded Citizens: The life of Iraqi Roma between the city’s ruins and rejection by the authorities” – Istibraq Al-Zubaidy, Iraq
Special prize: Best reporting concept and travel stipend for the UN Climate Change Conference COP 28 in December 2023 Dubai
- “Unveiling the Truth: The Challenge of Misleading Information Related to Climate Change” – Ezz Eddin Natour, Jordan
- “Women of Gaza Continue the Struggle Against Climate Changes to Prove Themselves in Economic Activities”- Abdullah Turkmani, Gaza/Palestine