Arab women journalists under fire

Judith Matloff applauds the bravery of female war reporters

The World Today Updated 10 March 2021 Published 26 July 2019 3 minute READ

Judith Matloff

Teaches conflict reporting, Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism

Our Women on the Ground: Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World

Edited by Zahra Hankir, Harvill Secker, £14.99

The start of 2011 should have been Eman Helal’s big story. A revolution was erupting on the streets of Cairo and the Egyptian photojournalist wanted to work. But her mother, worrying she would be hurt, locked her in the house and hid the key. Helal managed to break free but later her family marched her to their country house, far from the action. For four agonizing days as she was essentially held prisoner, Helal watched the uprising in Tahrir Square on TV fearing she would lose her job.

So it goes in Our Women on the Ground, a collection of essays by 19 female journalists reporting from the Arab world. It provides an intimate glimpse into the courage and pressures bearing on the determined women who report on their own homelands.

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