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MEE journalist Shatha Hammad wins One World Media New Voice Award

Jury recognises Hammad's 'ground-breaking' work and ability to 'illuminate political and social issues' in occupied West Bank
Shatha Hammad, who was born lives and works in the occupied West Bank, with her One World Media Award (Lubna Masarwa)

Shatha Hammad, a freelance journalist working from the occupied West Bank with Middle East Eye, has won the prestigious One World Media New Voice Award.

“Shatha Hammad’s work is both ground-breaking and rich with detail. The jury recognised her ability to illuminate political and social issues through the lens of individuals,” the One World jury said in a statement on Thursday.

“Hammad’s work is all the more impressive because of the obstacles she faces as a Palestinian journalist reporting in the West Bank, including being detained and subject to digital searches at checkpoints.”

Palestinian reporter Hammad was born, lives and works in the occupied West Bank, where she faces the daily dangers and obstructions of the Israeli military occupation.

Hammad has been detained at Israeli army checkpoints, covered violent military crackdowns and routinely has her movement and work impeded. Through all this she continues to produce groundbreaking reporting that leads the world’s coverage.

Last year, she was the first to speak to Rashida Tlaib’s grandmother, and report on the heartbreak that followed Israel’s decision to ban the US congresswoman from visiting her family home in the West Bank. The international media soon followed suit.

Lubna Masarwa, MEE’s Jerusalem bureau chief, described the award as a proud moment for Hammad and Middle East Eye.

“It's small recognition for the local and young Palestinian journalists who are paying a heavy price to cover the injustice in the region, for decades, without stopping and without tiring,” she said.

“Middle East Eye relies more than others on local journalists, and gives them the space to be able to tell the story in the way they see it in their daily life.”

Editor-in-chief David Hearst said the accolade was just reward for Hammad's "nuanced and intelligent reporting".

"Shatha has done marvellous work for us and we are delighted that One World Media has honoured a journalist on the ground who is living and breathing what she reports," he said.