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Abdihakim wins inaugural Journalism Award by British Embassy in Somalia

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - A documentary filmmaker bagged inaugural Somali Journalism Awards, the first-ever recognition organized by UK embassy in Somalia.

Mohamed Abdihakim, a journalist attached to Al-Jazeera and Ruptly media, was declared the winner in a competition that brought together journalists from Somalia and Somaliland.

The UK is keen to reward journalists who demonstrate positive and original stories about Somalia, a country that is yet to recover from inter-clan conflicts and terrorist threats.

For three decades, the media has tried to balance positive and negative stories about Somalia, with the latter domineering.

Highlights of dedicated IDP teacher

While accepting the honor, Abdihakim said: "The award is in recognition for journalists who have demonstrated positive, original and unique stories about Somalia."

Besides working for the two stations, he's also the co-founder of the Foresight media, an organization which films and posts stories about Somalia.

The winning documentary captured by Abdihakim, shows a woman, Asha Ali, voluntarily teaching Internally Displaced Persons.

In her own words, UK Somalia said, "Asha shares her story of being an internally displaced person and her commitment to the next generation of Somalis."

She was displaced two decades ago but believes she has much to offer to her country given the opportunity, she narrates in the documentary.

With frequent Al-Shabaab attacks and ballooning poverty index, it's difficult for children in Somalia to get an education, the World Bank had noted.

Runners up in the awards

Zakaria Abdulkadir, another filmmaker, was the runners up in the awards which could be a turning point for journalists in Somalia.

In his clip, he highlights the Somalia culture and food, which are rarely talked about in the global arena, the UK in Somalia added

Aidarous Abdilahi Ismael, from Somaliland, a breakaway region in the far North, was ranked as the second runners up.

He posted a clip of a disabled young man from Hargeisa, who is passionate about football despite the prevailing conditions.

Draconian media laws in Somalia

Incidentally, the awards come amid uproar over draconian media laws that have proposed by President Mohamed Abdullahi's administration.

The laws, media groups protested, infringes on the fundamental provisions including freedoms of speech and association.

On Sunday, the Federation of Somalia Journalists, Somalia Media Association and Women Journalists held a meeting with the president over the proposals.

Cases of brutality against journalists like anywhere in the world, are synonymous in Somalia with many dying or getting injured while on duty.


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