September 29, 2022

Shireen Abu Akleh, Palestinian Journalist, Dies, Aged 51

5 min read


JERUSALEM – Shireen Abu Aklih was originally trained to be an architect but could not see her future in the field. So she decided to go into journalism, and became one of the Palestinian journalists.

“I chose journalism to be close to the people,” he said in a short train shared via Al Jazeera shortly after being shot dead in the West Bank on Wednesday. It may not be easy to change the reality, but at least I did manage to get his voice out to the world. “

Ms. Abu Aklih, 51, a Palestinian American, was a well-known face on the Al Jazeera network, where she made her name in the midst of 25 years of reporting on the violence of the Palestinian uprising known as the Second Intifada, which killed Israel and the occupiers. Affected The West Bank began in 2000.

He was shot in the head in the West Bank city of Jenin.Al Jazeera and the Palestinian Ministry of Health said Israeli forces were responsible for his death. The Israeli army said Twitter That “Palestinian armed shelling” could be responsible.

Muhammad Dargama, Ramallah Bureau Chief of the Arabic language news agency East NewsMs Abu Aklih, who has been friends for many years, said she was determined to cover all issues affecting Palestinians, young and old.

He spoke to her last two days ago, he said, and told her that he did not think the events in Jenin were important enough for him to cover for a senior journalist.

“But she’s gone anyway,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then.

These were not the biggest or political stories that Ms. Abu Aklih was most interested in, but the short stories that showed how people live, Wissam Hammad, the news producer with Al Jazeera, Worked for years. She said she would see a story where others would not.

“Sometimes I say, ‘No, sweetie, forget it, it’s not a big story,'” he said. “But she was always thinking from many different angles about how we could do this, and how we could make it a very humane and very touching story about the Palestinians that no other journalist has ever done.” Will think. “

Born into a Catholic family in Jerusalem, Abu Aklih studied in Jordan and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Friends and colleagues said that when she was younger, she spent time in the United States and obtained American citizenship through her family, who lived in New Jersey.

Al Jazeera said that after graduating from college, he worked for a number of media outlets, including Voice of Palestine Radio and the Oman Satellite Channel, before joining Al Jazeera in 1997.

It soon became a household name among Palestinians and Arabs throughout the Middle East, encouraging many to follow in its footsteps.

Dalia Hatouqa, a Palestinian-American journalist and friend of Ms. Abu Aklih, said her live TV reporting and sign-ups became popular with people who wanted to imitate her.

“I know a lot of girls who basically stand in front of a mirror, brush their hair and pretend to be sweet,” said Ms. Hatoka. “How long and important his presence was.”

Among them was his 27-year-old niece Lena Abu Aklih. As a young girl, she would take her aunt’s written reports and read them on her pink Barbie phone.

Lena Abu Aklih said, “I always told her that I do not know if I have the courage and strength that you do, and she will say that it is not easy, it is very difficult.”

He said his death also reflected the dangers to Palestinian journalists during their careers, whether in the occupied West Bank, Gaza or Israel.

In a 2017 interview with Palestinian TV channel An-Najah NBC, she was asked if she was ever afraid of being shot.

“Of course I’m scared,” he said. “At a particular moment you forget that fear. We don’t put ourselves to death. We go and we try to figure out where we can stand and how to protect the team with me.” Before I think about how I’m going to get on the screen and what I’m going to say.

The Palestinian Authority’s ambassador to Britain, Hassam Zumlut, called him “the most prominent Palestinian journalist.”

The Abu Aklih family became famous in Palestinian society because of Ms. Abu Aklih.

“Everyone knows who Shirin is,” said his cousin Fadi Abu Aklih. “Every time I introduce myself, people ask me, ‘What does Shereen have to do with you?’

She lived in Ramallah, the West Bank and Jerusalem. Her cousin said that in Jerusalem, she lived with her brother and her family, including two nieces and a nephew, with whom she was very devoted.

“She was my best friend, my second mother, my traveling companion,” said Lena Abu Aklih. “She was my everything.”

Their last trip together was to New York to spend the Christmas holidays with relatives in the United States.

Ms. Abu Aklih recently spent several weeks in the United States, returning to Ramallah about a month ago. But he never seemed to think seriously about living in the United States, Mr. Dargma said.

Al Jazeera once sent him to the United States to work. Three months later, she returned to Ramallah.

When she returned, she said, “I can breathe now. Everything in America is technical and complex,” Mr Dargma recalled. “Life here is simple. I love Palestine. I want to live here.”

According to the president’s office, a state funeral will be held Thursday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, which will depart from the presidential headquarters and will be attended by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

He will be buried in the cemetery with his mother in Jerusalem on Friday.

“Shereen was a trail blazer,” said Ms. Hatoka. “I’m just sorry she didn’t stay in the industry.”

Raja Abdul Rahim Reported from Jerusalem, and Ben Hubbard From Doha, Qatar. حبا یزبیک Assisted in reporting from Nazareth, Israel. Kitty Bennett Participated in research.





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.