Serving Our Home through Journalism

While in my home country ISIS continues to fight against journalists or anyone who says anything outside of their own philosophy, here in the United States journalism continues to flourish, opening the door to new voices – as is the tradition of the United States.

It’s true that many minority groups in America don’t receive the air and press time they deserve.

This is especially the case with Arab-Americans, who feel misunderstood and are regularly misunderstood by Western intellectuals and the media. This creates huge obstacles on the way to reaching a common understanding, where both parties can benefit greatly.

But it is also true that in America, there are opportunities for people to break the mold without risking their lives. Here, an association of black journalists says “welcome” to an Iraqi-American journalist like me, because what they see and value one another is the heart of journalism, which is the appetite for truth and education, an unavoidable appetite. by journalists in many other countries.

On October 11, at the 2014 NABJ Conference in Detroit, sat on a panel next to award-winning reporter Charlie LeDuff of Fox News and reporter Marlon Walker of the Detroit Free Press, listening to the easy, lively way in which they talk about how they deal with “The Conflict. in Community “, the topic of our discussion, I realized that most of the problems many Middle Eastern and Arab people have are inner conflicts. Born and raised under authoritarian regimes, they have difficulty expressing their truth in a constructive way. Instead of influencing public opinion and government policies, they try to influence each other – often building tension in their own communities rather than creating progress.

How to become a journalist?

Investigative Journalism is such a phenomenon in the Arab World that the Arab Journalist for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) based in Amman, Jordan describes it on its website as “still an alien practice.” My friend, the famous poet Dunya Mikhail, was a journalist in Baghdad during the Saddam era. In his book, Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea, he wrote about him witnessing the price two editor-in-chiefs had to endure for not living up to the ideals of Uday (Saddam’s son). Feeling threatened by his writing, he fled the country to come to the United States.

Many journalists from the region who were growing up, were told to “Hush!” and “Mind your own business” have wounds to heal before they can grow wings like the American journalist who was told to “Speak!” and “Digging for the truth,” which like Charlie LeDuff can confidently say, “This is my home too! We all live in the United States, share it.”

When people from the Arab world, which over the past decade have become one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States, fully understand, appreciate and believe in the words “This is my home too!” that we will best serve this house through journalism.

“Courage in journalism sticks out for the unpopular, not the popular.” Geraldo River