BOSTON — The GroundTruth Project is pleased to announce that, for the first time, the James W. Foley Middle East Fellowship will be awarded to two journalists who will collaborate to shine a light on under-covered expressions of life in the Middle East.

Multimedia Journalist Sarah Moawad

Multimedia journalist Sarah Moawad

Reporter Sarah Moawad and Photojournalist Nicole Tung will develop a multimedia project that takes a look at the intersection of self-expression and youth in several countries of the Arab world.

 

The James W. Foley Fellowship is awarded in memory of the late journalist, who ISIS captured in 2012 while he was reporting on the Syrian Civil War. Foley was murdered in 2014. The fellowship seeks to enable young journalists to continue Foley’s legacy of reporting on people living through conflict, not just covering the conflict itself.

 

Photojournalist Nicole Tung

Photojournalist Nicole Tung

Moawad and Tung’s proposals were selected from a pool of more than 120 applicants for their comprehensive approach to the ways youth in the Middle East find spaces to develop their own identity and ideas in the midst of conflict and lack of economic opportunities.

 

“We are very excited to have these two incredibly  talented journalists carrying on Jim’s legacy by documenting the aftermath of the Arab Spring and focusing in on youth in the Middle East. It’s so important to bear witness to the fact that so many young people feel their dreams of more freedom and democracy have failed to come true. We know Jim would have wanted to stay on that story,” said Diane Foley, president and founder of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation.

 

As part of the fellowship, the journalists will receive a stipend and a budget that will include relevant risk assessment and Hostile Environment and First Aid Training as well as insurance and reporting expenses in the field.

 

Moawad is completing her masters degree in journalism with a focus on criminal justice and multimedia production at Columbia University. She has worked for Muftah magazine and Al-Jazeera in Egypt.  

 

“It is a tremendous honor to be granted the opportunity to bear the name and legacy of Jim Foley. I hope to tell nuanced stories about the Middle East in a way that pays homage to Jim’s hope love of humanity in the deepest throes of conflict, in a time and place when despair could easily take hold, but it doesn’t. Instead, the love of freedom, creativity, and storytelling drive ordinary young people to do extraordinary things,” said Moawad.

 

“It’s so important to bear witness to the fact that so many young people feel their dreams of more freedom and democracy have failed to come true. We know Jim would have wanted to stay on that story”.

Diane Foley

president and founder of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation

 

Tung is a photojournalist based in Istanbul covering conflict and its consequences across the Middle East. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Le Monde, Harper’s and Buzzfeed, among other publications.

 

“It is a great privilege to be enabled to cover this story about youth in the Middle East, especially at this critical period of time. I am grateful for the opportunity, and am honored to receive this fellowship, named in the memory of someone who aspired to create greater empathy and who also inspired so many,” said Tung.

 

Previous fellowship recipients include Alex Potter, who captured the plight of children in Mosul, Iraq in a photo essay, a long-form story and a podcast titled “War Children,”; and Dalia Mortada, who produced an audio documentary and podcast titled “From Syria With Baklava.”

 

Our new fellows will receive mentorship and editorial support from the whole editorial team at GroundTruth, including GroundTruth Founder and longtime Middle East correspondent Charles Sennott.

 

This fellowship is made possible thanks to the support of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation.

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