By Heba Albiety
An Egyptian mother of three has walked away with the top prize in ICFJ’s online course, Building News Websites for Egyptian Citizen Journalists. Safaa Mohammad Abdul Hamid was awarded with $1000 for her story “The Best Day in the Life of a Revolutionary Mother”.
During the course, Safaa learned how to use social networking sites and to write reports using pictures, videos and maps. “Once I acquired the tools through ICFJ's course, I used them and they worked, Safaa said. “The story moved everyone who read it”.
The mother of three said the course boosted her confidence and improved her journalistic skills. It also gave her the opportunity to work as a program producer for the satellite channel 25 January TV.
Safaa is using the money to apply the knowledge she learned in the course to build a journalistic website with the help of her friends. “Winning first prize encouraged me and assured me that success is timeless and limitless because working hard bears fruit no matter what,” she said.
Safaa’s story was about the last days of the Mubarak regime. The story’s perspective was unique as it shed light on the inner conflict Safaa, and many other Egyptian mothers, went through during the protests. Many women felt compelled to participate in the protests and were torn between their obligation to their kids and their obligation to their country. Safaa said it was not an easy decision to join the protests.
“I wanted to join people who took to the streets for protests but at the same time I did not want to risk my life for the sake of my kids,” Safaa said.
But as the situation on the streets became tenser, Safaa told her kids how important it was for her to participate in the protests. She told them that Egypt was like a mother to her and that she had to stand by her in such difficult times.