Dubai Press Club (DPC), which represents the General Secretariat of the Arab Journalism Award (AJA), signed today a memorandum of understanding with the International Humanitarian City (IHC), the largest depot for humanitarian aid. This agreement came within the framework of their partnership to support and enhance the humanitarian journalism that has been developed recently within the categories of the Arab Journalism Award in its second session.
The agreement was signed by Maryam Bin Fahad, Executive Director of Dubai Press Club and representative of the General Secretariat of the Arab Journalism Awards, and Shaima Al Zarooni, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Humanitarian City. The signing ceremony was hosted at the International Humanitarian City premises in the presence of Khalid Khalifa, Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the GCC countries and representative of Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) – a leading source in the field of humanity news which witnessed the launching of the new Award.
Maryam Bin Fahad said: “DPC’s partnership with the International Humanitarian City comes in recognition of its efforts to establish a pioneering community in humanitarian action. We are confident this initiative will encourage the media, which is a key partner in highlighting humanitarian issues, to support the work of the humanitarian international and Arab institutions in the UAE. This is especially true in today’s times when the Arab region is going through significant changes. The new award will also encourage journalists to try new streams of reporting, which contribute to tackling humanitarian crises and alleviating suffering”.
Bin Fahad praised the efforts of IHC and its prompt initiative to support the new award category. According to her, “This sponsorship proves the IHC’s determination to keep up with the cultural and media changes that affect the different areas of humanitarian action.”
Shaima Al Zarooni said: “The most important objective in sponsoring the Humanitarian Journalism Award is to further enhance the involvement of Arab media in humanitarian crises. This, in turn, highlights humanitarian concerns and stimulates the communities response to such related challenges. The IHC, which is chaired by UN Messenger of Peace HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, strongly believes in the crucial role the media plays in recognizing the unsung heroes – and their continuous efforts – to help revive and rebuild communities wherever a humanitarian crises has occurred.”
IHC is an exceptional international humanitarian hub reflecting the commitment of the United Arab Emirates and Dubai Government towards the humanitarian needs around the world. IHC enables humanitarian organisations through its global reach, infrastructure and custom designed services to facilitate aid and development efforts across the globe. Shaima Al Zarooni Added: “Our partnership with Dubai Press Club confirms our commitment to join efforts to combat the pressures facing humanitarian action in general and to provide assistance and international aid in particular. I thank DPC and the Secretariat of the Award for their efforts and their productive cooperation to serve the humanitarian requirements.”
Shaima Al Zarooni highlighted IRIN role in supporting the Humanitarian Journalism Award noting the efforts of the network in covering humanitarian issues in the parts of the world which are often under-reported, misunderstood or ignored; and bringing the voice of the affected communities to the decision makers and the humanitarian players.
Khalid Khalifa said: “The Memorandum of Understanding between the IHC and DPC is an important step forward in promoting humanitarian journalism and an addition to creative partnership between humanitarian and media organisations. The award enhances the efforts of both parties in raising awareness of humanitarian issues with the aim of improving people’s lives and livelihoods”
Under this agreement, the two parties will work in conjunction to contact and urge media organizations and individuals focusing on humanitarian journalism to submit entries to this category. Through this agreement IHC will cover the award financial amount valued at US$15,000.
The panel will evaluate the submissions on the basis of criteria set by the AJA board of directors, including the style of handling issues, level of success in conveying the reality on ground to the public, degree of impact, and the circumstances that the writer had witnessed during the event are some of the factors that will influence the jury’s decision.
The Arab Journalism Awards has opened submissions for the twelfths edition. Entries are to be made at the Award’s site: by 31st of December, 2012.