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ExclusivE Running past black curtains to avoid sniperfire (Aleppo, Syria)

…being in the front line is about living to tell the story.

Mali on the French intervention against Al Qaeda, and from Myanmar on the tragic situation of Muslim Rohingyas. And, Jenan also covered the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic embassy in Benghazi, Libya. One of the highlights of her career, she would say, is having had the opportunity to report and share the first burial images of the late Libyan dictator, MuamarGhaddafi. At that time, she was out and about Libya, roaming with rebels from town to town during the long desert war. Not knowing that she would be led standing 5 centimeters away from the dead Ghadaffi. With all her journalistic instincts, she managed to capture the moment clearly and firstly. Without doubt, Jenan’s passion for journalism has resulted in many scoopsof which international channels such as ABC, BBC and Reuters had picked up. Other than the breaking news she shares to the world, Jenan has also been a great voice of war-torn Syria where she tried to highlight the enormous human suffering of the Syrian population. Having been noted by Washington Post as one of the Twitter accounts to follow to better understand what’s happening in Syria, Jenan has taken into such social media channel to share her stories in a wider scope and audience. Jenan explains,“I’m not an activist but I try to help. Coming from those wartorn areas, I feel like it’s rather unfair for them to suffer. Since I am very active on Twitter, I use it to tell the needs of some of the people I met. Like for

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ans ent with civili Jenan in basemg (Jarjanaz, Syria) in mb bo g rin du

example this Syrian family of whom five children need wheelchairs. I ‘tweeted’ the need, and practically minutes after I did that, people from the US and Qatar were sending support for them. Another case was this little Syrian born in a refugee tent. I also ‘tweeted’ about this wonderful life coming out in an age of war, and again a Kuwaiti family promised to provide help and adopt the kid until he is 18 so he would be raised properly.” Quite rewarding for someone who is only lending her voice to these less fortunate beings, Jenan finds great and immediate feedback from her thousands of followers in social media. She says,“I believe a lot of people empathise with each other. There are so many people out there who want to help.” There are definitely two sides to the story – her difficulties and rewards to being a crisis and roving reporter. But Jenan’s story has a third face. And, that is her being a woman crisis and roving reporter. She says,“I totally respect Al Aan TV for giving me this opportunity. I did not feel any sort of discrimination being a woman assigned in the field. You don’t see a lot of Arabic media that give opportunities to women, so for that Al Aan’s effort is

very commendable. Although I personally think that not too many women push for what they want, they don’t impose enough to get out there.” Thankful for the break that Al Aan Tv provided her, Jenan shares,“Al Aan TV is more known for its lifestyle shows. The news section we have actually focuses more on human interest stories. Yet they manage to give me the opportunity to report from the war and crisis zones. I’m so lucky to have Al Aan airs my stories.” Obviously, in a conservative Middle Eastern society, being a woman reporter in a dangerous field is quite peculiar. How did she manage to get the yes of her family to pursue her passion? Well, she never got the yes. “They never said yes, but I still do it,” Jenan quips with a laugh.“My father is my biggest supporter. They tend to worry of course but they don’t say no, don’t do that, but they also don’t say yes, go for that. Personally, I don’t tell them where I am assigned especially if it’s really dangerous, because they tend to worry and that brings emotional distress. They only get to know where I would be when they’d see me on Al Aan TV, and then they get to be happy knowing that I’m safe.”

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Arabian Woman July/August 2014 Issue  

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Arabian Woman July/August 2014 Issue  

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