Running Commentary by Daphne Caruana Galizia

a nutshell: the Maltese woman writer I include in this project could be none other than Daphne Caruana Galizia, whose commitment to exposing injustice through her writing eventuated in the 2017 murder that sent shock waves across the world

a line: “It’s true that life is unfair and that much of it can’t be helped, but where I can do anything to avoid unfairness or to set it straight, then I will”

an image: I took the photo above at a vigil for Daphne in April 2018, which was one of countless global events that have kept her memory alive over the past 30 months (often with moving contributions from her sons, two of whom I had the privilege of meeting on occasion through my human rights work in London)

a thought: while reading through Daphne’s online notebook to prepare my blog post, I came across this article in which she notes that the real reason – which she had uncovered nearly a year earlier – for a US trip by the PM was at last being acknowledged as the truth, even though previously she had been badmouthed as a purveyor of fake news; I was struck by Daphne’s observation that in journalism, as in many areas in life, “you sometimes find the back-up you need a little too late” and touched by her readers’ comments at the time that they always had full faith in her

a fact: one of Daphne’s sons, Paul, has followed in her footsteps as a journalist and speaks about his mother’s murder for Tortoise’s podcast – I highly recommend a listen

want to read Running Commentary? visit here

Our Women on the Ground: Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World (ed. Zahra Hankir)

Our Women on the Ground - on the ground

a nutshell: an extraordinary, ground-breaking, and pulsingly intimate collection of essays by 19 Arab women journalists – rather than meeting my high expectations, it soared above & beyond them

a line“We don’t publish the picture. It’s too graphic, and people are too sensitive. Those of us who count as people, with sensibilities” – Natacha Yazbeck

an image: born in Iraq and raised in Hull, Hind Hassan recalls many beautiful scenes of hospitality in the unlikeliest circumstances during assignments in her homeland, as well as a memory from the Iraqi community in which she grew up: a friend secretly slipping in & out of an ajar window to clean and cook for the whole family while Hind’s mother was having birth complications

a thought: I was fascinated by Egyptian journalist Lina Attalah’s reflections on her journey towards activating a “belated lens on gender” in her work, particularly her thoughts on the duality of selves (in the family home and the “street home”) and on power both inside & outside the newsroom – its complexity and, at times, invisibility

a fact: many of the women’s stories include the trauma of losing family, friends and colleagues to conflict zones or political repression, and it’d be remiss not to mention the very real risks they face just for doing their job – I hope their voices resound worldwide

N.B. Amira Al-Sharif’s chapter Yemeni Women with Fighting Spirits is my recommendation for writing by a woman from Yemen; as its title suggests, it’s a unique insight into resilience and empowerment in even the most trying conditions

want to read Our Women on the Ground? visit here