My entire life I’ve been very indecisive.
I have a hard time picking an entree at restaurants or deciding what outfit to wear to work, its very inconvenient but I work through it. While the rest of my life is one big question mark 24/7, I’ve always known I love to write. That was a lot easier to decide than most. And from that, I decided to major in journalism in college. I didn’t realize until the day after I graduated college that I was going to have a very difficult time finding a job doing what I love. So instead of staying funemployed, as my group of friends began to call it, while searching for the “perfect” journalist job, I applied for and was given a really amazing job on the other side of the newspaper magic, ad space sales.
Even though I now work in marketing, I’ll always want to be a journalist.
I remember the first time I told my mother I wanted to be a war correspondent… she yelled. It was not pretty. She screamed about how dangerous it was and how terrible it was “over there” and didn’t stop yelling until her throat hurt. She didn’t understand why I would ever want to be in the midst of battle. Of course I knew how dangerous how dangerous it would be, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to do it. It was the only career path I saw myself in that could make a difference in the world while letting me see parts of it that I would never see otherwise.
But sometimes, things go wrong, and the fears my mother yelled about a few years ago have become the fears of other mothers. On December 29, 2013, an Australian reporter, a Canadian/Egyptian bureau chief, and an Egyptian producer were arrested at a hotel in Cairo, Egypt after being accused of holding an illegal broadcast. Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy, and Baher Mohamed stood trial on February 21, but that trial was adjourned in order to be reconvened on March 5. Al Jazeera has been doing everything in their power to have them released.
However, they aren’t the only ones that Al Jazeera is trying to get back. Arabic broadcaster Abdullah Al Shamy is also in Egyptian custody. He was detained on August 14, 2013 with no charges and has been on a hunger strike since Janurary 23, according to Al Jazeera’s website.
Al Jazeera has called for today to be a Global Day of Action. They have asked for worldwide support in order to have their journalists released. They also ask that Egypt release all of the journalists that are detained at the moment. Their hashtag #FreeAJStaff has had a quarter of a billion hits on just on twitter just since February 1st!
Hopefully, with the rest of the world’s support, AL Jazeera can make a difference in the country that the Committee to Protect Journalists has named the third most dangerous country in the world for journalists.
I was on CPJ’s website and was astounded by the deaths they listed, but became increasingly worried when I read about Egypt.
In 2013, 6 journalists were killed for their work in Egypt. Three were killed on August 14th, while covering Egyptian forces raid demonstrators supporting President Mohamed Morsi. Since 1992, there have been 10 journalist deaths documented in Egypt while working… nine of them dying once the anti-government protests in 2011 began.
I can’t help but write nervously but I’m excited to see the kind of response this will receive around the world.
Journalism is not a crime, and for that we need to free our brothers and sisters in writing.