Pioneer Palestinian journalist dies at 51

Jerusalem — Shireen Abu Akleh originally studied to become an architect, but after she decided to enter journalism instead, her career took a different path, becoming one of the most prominent Palestinian journalists.

Palestinian-American Abu Akleh has become a familiar face for 25 years of reporting on the Al Jazeera network, making a name for itself amid the violence of the Palestinian Uprising, known as the Second Intifada, that convulsed Israel and the occupied Jordan River West Bank. year 2000.

“I chose journalism to be close to people,” she said in a short reel shared by al-Jazeera on Wednesday, shortly after she was killed in a shooting in the West Bank. “Changing reality will not be easy, but at least we have been able to give their voices to the world.”

Abu Akleh was shot in the head of Jenin in the West Bank and the Palestinian Ministry of Health blamed the Israeli army for her death. said the Israeli army. Twitter “Palestinian armed shootings” could be to blame.

Born in Jerusalem to a Roman Catholic family, Abu Akleh studied in Jordan and earned a BA in Journalism, according to Palestinian agency Shehab News. She also spent time in the United States, where she obtained U.S. citizenship.

Al Jazeera said that after graduating from university, Abu Akleh worked for several media outlets, including the Voice of Palestine radio and Amman Satellite Channel, before Abu Akleh joined Al Jazeera in 1997.

Abu Akleh soon became a famous name among Palestinians and Arabs across the Middle East and inspired many to follow her path. Al Jazeera said she was 51 years old at the time of her death.

Abu Akleh’s friend and Palestinian-American journalist Dalia Hatuqa says her live TV coverage and sign-off have become iconic for those who want to be like her.

“I know a lot of girls who grew up basically standing in front of a mirror, holding a comb and pretending to be Shireen,” Hatuqa said. “So her existence was long-lasting and important.”

Her death also showed the dangers Palestinian journalists face doing work on the occupied West Bank, in Gaza or within Israel, she said.

“Shireen was a pioneer,” she said. “She’s just sad that she can’t continue to lead this industry.”

Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian Authority’s ambassador to the UK, called her “the most prominent Palestinian journalist”.

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