Centre To Support Press Freedom In Yemen Launches
London charity of Arab philanthropist H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber establishes independent media training institute ahead of Yemen elections in 2014
|Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber being interviewed at the London launch of the MBI Al Jaber Media Institute.
||Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber was joined by former US Presidential Advisor Dalia Mogahed, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkol Karman and a packed hall of politicians, experts, academics and media for the London launch of the MBI Al Jaber Media Institute in Sana’a, Yemen.
A launch event to mark the opening of a training institute to promote free and non-partisan press reporting in Yemen was held last night at 61 Whitehall. The event was hosted by philanthropist, His Excellency, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, who recognises the need to support independent training to encourage high standards of reporting in the run up to the adoption of the new constitution and next year’s Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Yemen.
Joining leading politicians to welcome the opening of the centre were members of the Institute’s board of advisers including Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Tawakkol Karman and former US Presidential adviser Dalia Mogahed.
For the past two decades, the MBI Al Jaber Foundation has supported a significant number of projects in the UK and around the world relating to education, free media, and good governance along with other activities that serve to build bridges between the West and the Arab world.
The MBI Al Jaber Media Institute in Yemen is an independent, privately funded institution which will train journalists, students, teachers and trainers and citizens in all aspects of media. It will bring attention to the cause of journalists in Yemen, where in the past they have faced the threat of violence or imprisonment.
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber commented: “A free press is an essential element of a free society. Since the Arab Spring, many of those green shoots have withered, but in countries such as Yemen there is real hope for progress. The opening of the MBI Al Jaber Media Institute will help citizens both locally and globally act as witnesses to the situation on the ground, and guide next year’s crucial elections to a fair and positive outcome.”
The MBI Al Jaber Media Institute will not be dependent on project or governmental agency funding, and will promote free and non-partisan press reporting in the region. Following the events of 2011 and the revolution in Yemen, the adoption of the new constitution and forthcoming elections in Yemen provide a chance for the country to make significant strides toward a morerepresentative society.
The MBI Al Jaber Media Institute is fully funded. It has permanent staff in addition to freelance trainers, and, though under the umbrella of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation in London, it will be an autonomous, locally run and registered organization with a Board of Advisors.
“The MBI Al Jaber Media Institute is an important step in developing Yemen’s media sector,” said the Director of the Institute, BBC Arabic Correspondent, Abdullah Ghorab. “Not only will the institute aim to equip journalists with the necessary tools to ensure that their reporting and production is of the highest professional and ethical value, it will also open their eyes to alternative methods that they might not necessarily have known before by giving them access to international trainers and experts.
“The Institute also caters for citizens who would be journalists. Citizens who wish to tell the world about their issues and engage with others across the region and beyond. It is my dream that the MBI Al Jaber Institute will be the premier Yemeni media institute and point of reference for upcoming journalists from across the country.”
Tawakkol Karman added: “I am glad for the opening of the MBI Al Jaber Institute. There is an urgent need for such institutions in Yemen. It will play an important role in the nurturing, training and preparing of real journalists for the real world. I am proud of Sheikh Mohamed for his role in supporting the freedom of the press, education and freedom of expression.”
The MBI Al Jaber Media Institute offers a range of short courses at a variety of levels and will cover aspects of journalism ranging from sourcing and verifying news, through to legal training to avoid violations of press laws. All courses are free to participants. The permanent staff will include the Director, the Researcher and Secretarial/Administrative support. In addition, both local and international journalists will be employed as freelancers to bring their knowledge and expertise to the courses offered by the Institute.
Following the launch, the MBI Al Jaber Foundation will be jointly hosting a panel discussion on press and journalism in the Arab world with Caabu, the cross-party organisation working to advance Arab-British relations. The discussion today (4 December) will be chaired by Adam Holloway MP and cover the challenges of covering the Arab uprisings. Panelists will include Channel 4 News’ International Editor Lindsey Hilsum; Heather Blake, UK Director of Reporters Without Borders; Asem Alothman, a correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic’s Saudi bureau; and Abdurrahman Elshayyal, formerly the BBC’s Business Development Manager, for the MENA region and West Asia.
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