KARACHI: The Karachi Press Club (KPC) held an international webinar on Friday to pay tribute to slain Palestinian-American journalist and reporter Shireen Abu Akleh.
Shireen, who was associated with Al Jazeera, was shot dead in an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank on May 11.
“She sacrificed her life for the cause of freedom of the press and the freedom of Palestine,” said senior journalist Mazhar Abbas. “Journalism is a very risky profession with so many journalists who have sacrificed their lives while defending their profession.”
He also suggested that the KPC launch an award for journalists who show courage in carrying out their duties. “It will be a great way to remember Shireen,” he said.
Senior reporter Owais Toheed, who has covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the BBC, said Shireen’s courage in reporting has given her the voice of Palestinian resistance. And his funeral also showed Israeli aggression against Palestinians. “Twenty-five years ago, when she began her profession, she was a young girl. But she was very brave, calm and composed. Today, his life is an example for other young journalists. Shireen is already a role model for many journalists around the world,” he said.
Senior analyst Asma Shirazi called Shireen “a brave heart with an innocent soul, a heroine and a symbol of journalism”.
She said she was an inspiration to all journalists. “Many didn’t know her, but they know now after her death. Her colleagues, especially the one who was with her when she was shot, said she had a very different aura around her that day- there. In hindsight, they say it seemed like she was mentally ready to embrace martyrdom. Shireen and other journalists who report from conflict zones have the idea that they can be shot at any moment “, she said.
Deputy Chief of Mission, Head of Media and Civil Society at the Embassy of the State of Palestine, Nadir Alturk, said Shireen’s murder was a tragedy, but she was not the first since nearly 60 journalists had lost their lives in the past six years. years.
“Shireen was also targeted; she was not killed by mistake,” he said, adding that the Israelis acted as if they were human beings first and foremost, as if no one could punish them.
He also pointed out that there was the conflict in Palestine and the conflict in Ukraine, but that the two were treated so differently by the powers that be.
Hasan Abu Al Rab, who works for Palestinian Radio, said the Israelis might have killed Shireen “but they can never kill the truth”.
Givara Budeiri, another journalist working for Al Jazeera, said the Israelis wanted to kill Shireen to scare other journalists who worked there and covered the conflict. “They want them to stop their work in Palestine, pack up and leave,” she said, adding that there was also a problem with freedom of movement. “Journalists working in Palestine are not allowed to enter Jerusalem,” she said.
“Shireen was a friend to every house in Palestine. Al Jazeera covered all their stories, of a mother losing her child, of prisoners. And to kill a great journalist like her was to frighten the little journalists. We all attended his funeral. We were unarmed, but we were attacked by the Israelis
good. Now we all want to continue our work because of Shireen,” she said.
Earlier, KPC Chairman Fazil Jamili paid rich tributes to the brave journalist and spoke about the many challenges faced by journalists around the world. Journalist Mona Khan also spoke.
Posted in Dawn, June 4, 2022