First Female Media Sports Forum in Arab world tackles challenges facing sports media women

First Female Media Sports Forum in Arab world tackles challenges facing sports media women
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Published February 5th, 2016 - 23:28 GMT via

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Source: @AWSTShj
Source: @AWSTShj

The first ever "Female Sports Media Forum" took place at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre in Sharjah last Wednesday, held on the sidelines of the third Arab Women Sports Tournament 2016 (AWST), and focused on the challenges faced by women in media.

The forum, held under the patronage of H.H. Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohamed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council of Family Affairs, and sponsored by Noon Sports Corporation, is the first of its kind, and included a panel of leading sports journalists and sports personalities.

The first session called "Contemporary Challenges" was moderated by Dubai Sports channel presenter, Hussah Al Rayassi. Panelists included Layla Samati, beIN Sports channels commentator, Mohammed Jamil Abdul Qadir, president of the Arab Union of Sports Press; Evelyn Wata, member of the executive committee of the Association of International Sports Press (AIPS) and Roes Al Musaifri from beIN Sports channels.

The panelists agreed that women need to believe in themselves to achieve success and forge their own identity in sports journalism. Layla Samati said, "While forums are a great place for social discussions about development, we need something more to push the role of women in sports journalism. Education of families and society to make them realise that women can play a strong and leading role in sports journalism is necessary." Wata spoke about the need for women to believe in themselves and said, "It’s time to improve our personal skills and break the barriers we place on ourselves, like self-doubt. We need to start believing that we can achieve whatever we want and if you want to be a sports journalist, then know your sports completely." The second panel discussion called "New Media and Sports" focused on the role of social media in sports. Hind Mohammed, Sada Al Balad TV presenter, moderated the session and panelists included Amjad Al Monif, journalist, blogger and CEO of Eleven Communication and PR, Abdul Rasool Abdullah, CEO of the "Sports for All" Group, Egyptian squash player, Habiba Mohamed Ahmed and Moroccan volleyball player, Thuraya Erab.

Al Monif said, "Social media has created the kind of interaction that did not exist before and now female athletes can interact with the public and vice versa in a way that was not possible even five years ago." Rayab said, "In 1969 Morocco, women weren’t even allowed to go to school, let alone play sports. Today the Arab world should be proud of how far we have come and this forum is evidence of that progress." Ola Faris, anchor and presenter for the MBC TV Network, moderated the third and final panel discussion called "Success Formula". Panelists included Mervat Hussein, the first Sudanese sports journalist, Susan Shalabi, member of the women's committee in the Asian Football Federation, Adnan Hamad, sports commentator and Amal Ismail, Sports Journalist at Ro’yaa newspaper.

Hamad said, "There are four factors that the media person should possess, firstly the talent. Secondly the media sense, which supports his/her creativity. Thirdly, is the knowledge, and finally the cumulative experience that is cultivated with time".

The dominance of women here is very clear. I am one man sitting among four women and this is evidence that women are taking full control of their rights and the UAE is leading this movement for women." Amal said, "Women are a special case because they face more barriers than men and these restrictions are not faced by the Arab world alone. We face them more here but they exist in western countries as well. Women still have much to overcome." The forum ended with recommendations and chairperson for the forum, Nada Al Shibany said, "Firstly we need to find solutions for support and more sponsors. Secondly we need to work on increasing the role of women in sports journalism and have more workshops that relate to sports journalism. Cooperation between media organisations needs to increase and also women’s sports should be broadcast to develop in scale. Finally, old and new female champions should be recognized and promoted.

© Copyright 2015 Emirates News Agency (WAM)

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