“I had to manage the teams’s
frustrations, fears, performance and
professionalism. Moreover, I was
responsible for their personal security
with every new assignment I gave them
while; in fact, none of us was qualified
to face what we had to face.”
Nora Younis is a human rights activist, journalist, and blogger. Also the
founder of the first WebTV in the Arab World and the website managing
editor of Al Masry Al Youm independent daily.
Nora joined AlMasry corporation in 2008 with the assignment to create a
multimedia department and a converged unit within AlMasry AlYoum print
Coming from a blogger / activist background, Nora recruited a tiny core
team of independent, rights driven, young editors and video journalists in
parallel to designing and delivering a training program for print edition
reporters on video journalism using pocket video cameras. Soon the
experience was yielding success, the small cameras and passionate team
were able to introduce to the Arab world unprecedented investigative video
reports, and close footage right from the heart of struggles.
Nora\'s demanding job with Al Masry Media Corporation took her away from
both blogging and activism. Her leading position forced her to put clear
lines between journalism and activism in order to be able to convey these
values to the teams she lead. "Except when it comes to free press and
human rights" she says, believing those are important biases to keeping
ones\' integrity and fulfill their obligations to humanity.
As Rights activist, Nora won the Human Rights First (HRF) thirtieth
anniversary award in 2008 in recognition for her work using new media
tools to expose human rights violations and police brutality.
When she started blogging in 2005 her focus was filling the information
vacuum on protest movement and rights violations in Egypt. Before twitter
came to being, she was sending mass text messages to activists, lawyers,
and reporters informing them of rallies, arrests, state violence and police
brutality. With Twitter getting well established in Egypt she moved into
video reporting in and outside Cairo via her blog. Nora\'s most famous
coverage include the killing of more than 27 man, woman and child
Sudanese and African refugees when the police raided a 2000 refugees\' sit
in camp outside UNHCR Cairo office in 2006, also her online campaigns for
citizenship rights of the Bahaie religious minority in Egypt, as well as textile
workers strike in city of Mahalla in 2006 that grew into nationwide strikes
calling for ousting former president Mubarak.
In May 2005, Nora stood witness to a mass sexual assault to women
protesters rallying against constitutional amendments put forward by
former president Mubarak to entrench his power and pave the way for his
son Gamal as successor. The assault was carried by Mubarak\'s supporters
and facilitated by high rank police officers present at crime scene. This
event, and further police violations Nora witnessed and reported, building
up all the way to the police violence during the Egyptian revolution,
led Nora to study the police reform experience in post-soviet Georgia and
bring derived lessons back to Egypt.
Nora was born in Cairo in 1977, studied English Literature, married and is
a mother of 18 months boy; Murad.