Media Development Center Holds Writing Workshop in Lebanon

The Media Development Center at Birzeit University on August 23, 2015 organized a workshop on journalistic writing skills for media activists in Palestinians’ refugee camps in Lebanon. The center partnered with the Majed Abu Sharar Media Foundation.

Media Consultant Saleh Masharqeh coached 20 young media activists working in youth-run news websites and other platforms related to civil society organizations that promote the wellbeing of Palestinians in refugee camps.

The workshop, which was held in Burj al-Barajneh refugee camp south of Beirut, was also attended by a number of Palestinian refugees who had migrated from Syria’s refugee camps as a result of the mounting difficult living conditions there.

The five-day workshop aims to empower Palestinian activists and guide them to use journalistic skills to express Palestinian refugees’ needs. The workshop was tailored to develop the media coverage of refugee news in mainstream and community media in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Via a video call, editor-in-chief of the Palestine News and Info Agency WAFA Kholoud Assaf, general manager of the Voice of Palestine Nidal Arar, and deputy editor of al-Hayat al-Jadida Bashar al-Barmawi addressed the participants in the workshop.

Media Development Center director Nibal Thawabteh said the workshop is the center’s first step in connecting with the regions where Palestinians have sought refuge to provide other Arab institutions with media services through the center’s consultants and experts.

She said that the workshop seeks to empower Palestinians everywhere and help them to connect with the world and depict their realities in a language the world understands. This will help ensure a greater impact on international public opinion, Thawabteh added.

Majed Abu Sharar Media Foundation head Sama Abu Sharar welcomed Birzeit University’s effort to reach Palestinians in refugee camps and called on the center to maintain this cooperation with Palestinian young people, investing in their energy in order to spread the Palestinian narrative in Arab and international media outlets.

Meanwhile, Masharqeh called on civil society institutions in the occupied Palestinian territories to include Palestinian refugees in all future development projects. He said his decision to supervise this workshop in Lebanon stems from a deep-rooted faith in the importance of uniting all efforts to rebuild a unified Palestinian media and discourse, regardless of differences over political affiliation or editorial standards.

Masharqeh argued that his vision could be realized by hiring Palestinian activists to report from the refugee camps and provide comprehensive coverage of all Palestinian-related developments.