Jailed Al Jazeera journalist Baher Mohamed will become a father again today. His unjust imprisonment has however meant that he could not be at his wife Gehan’s side when she gave birth to a baby boy.
From his jail cell, Baher released a letter to the new arrival, to be named Haroun. The letter is a mix of sadness and hope for the child’s future, as well as some valuable wisdom for his two other children four year old Hazem, and three year old Fairouz.
Baher begins with sharing his hopes that there are better days ahead for Egypt:
“Sorry because you were born where free people are behind bars, including your father. Sorry too because you have come to a society where its freedom’s restricted. But I promise you I will always fight for liberty. I don’t want you to give up on this society…because I am sure that soon everything will change for the better”
"When two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers."
- African proverb
The Battle For Africa, the first in a two-part People & Power investigation into the effects of China’s increasing influence in Africa, premieres on Al Jazeera on Thursday, 28 August 2,014.
Emmy-winning Sierra Leonean journalist Sorious Samura travels to Kenya, to witness how the rise of Chinese business in Africa has changed the balance of power between African governments and the West. “African leaders can now look elsewhere for meaningful economic and political support,” says Sorious.
Global Online Competition about Nonlinear Narratives in Apps
The Innovation and Research group at Al Jazeera Media Network has kicked off its first major community initiative with an online Innovation Challenge. This is an open competition aiming to surface new ideas about storytelling in mobile and web applications.
The Innovation Challenge competition offers substantial rewards, including the possibility of future incubation of winning ideas, invitations to large innovation events in the future, and $25,000 in cash prizes.
‘Marco Polo – A Very Modern Journey’ is the first series to be produced in partnership with Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV.
A contemporary re-tracing of Marco Polo’s 13th century journey is the first production from the partnership of Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV and global broadcaster Al Jazeera English.
Shot in epic cinematic style by London-based EOS Films and Beijing Energy Media, the three-part series explores the philosophical and historical questions about East and West, then and now, and contemplates the meaning and implications of Marco Polo’s journey.
“I’m very glad we have partnered with Al Jazeera on this ground-breaking series”, comments Phoenix Vice President, Mr. Cui Qiang. “Marco Polo symbolises a desire to understand others, which is emblematic of what both our companies seek to achieve through our films.”
Lawyers for the jailed Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt have today filed appeals against their convictions.
The weaknesses in the case have been widely protested and ridiculed, and much of the public criticism is reflected in the grounds for appeal.
The case will next be heard before the Court of Cassation which will examine the grounds for hearing a full appeal. A date for the hearing has not yet been set.
19 August, 2014: Amal Alamuddin, leading human rights lawyer, and expert on Egyptian legal system, has detailed the injustices in the Egyptian trial of three Al Jazeera English journalists in an incisive opinion piece for The Huffington Post.
Alamuddin, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, specialising in international law, criminal law, human rights and extradition, notes that four successive governments in Egypt have used sham trials and questionable laws to silence media freedom and freedom of speech, with the Al Jazeera trial being a clear example of this.
She outlines the clear breaches of law and due process in the case of Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohammed in her opinion piece ‘The Anatomy of an Unfair Trial’.
“Architecture and the built environment is a kind of a slow violence”
- Israeli architect, Eyal Weizman
- The ‘Rebel Architecture’ series features architects from Vietnam, Nigeria, Spain, Pakistan, Israel/Occupied West Bank and Brazil who are using design to tackle the world’s urban, environmental and social crises
- The series premieres on 18th August with ‘Guerrilla Architect’ which casts an eye on occupation and the architecture of activism in austerity-hit Spain
- Airing 1st September 2014 as part of the ‘Rebel Architecture’ series on Al Jazeera, ‘The Architecture of Violence’ demonstrates architecture’s role in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and its attacks on Gaza
Al Jazeera’s ‘Rebel Architecture’ series features a film ‘The Architecture of Violence’,demonstrating how architecture is central to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and takes a journey across the settlements and roads of the West Bank and along the Separation Wall.
Weizman meets locals on both sides who talk about how it feels to live in a landscape where everything, from walls and roads, terraces and sewage, to settlements and surveillance are designed to ensure the separation of the two peoples, while simultaneously maintaining control.
Thursday, 7 August: President of the United States Barack Obama has once again called for the release of Al Jazeera English journalists, jailed for seven years in Cairo on 23 June this year.
Speaking Wednesday on the last day of the US-Africa summit in Washington DC, Obama addressed the issue in clear terms, stating the US demands the freedom of journalists to report, a basic tenet of a civilised society:
“The specific issue with the Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt we have been clear both publicly and privately that they should be released”, Obama stated. “We have been very consistent in pushing governments not just in Africa but around the world to respect the right of journalists to practice their trade. As a critical part of civil society and a critical part of any democratic norm”.
On Thursday, 7 August, Al Jazeera English launches special coverage of ‘Gaza Under Fire’, one month since the start of the conflict. From online infographic and in-depth analysis, to news features throughout the day, the coverage will be in comprehensive, culminating in a full special news hour at 1800 GMT (9pm Gaza, 7pm London).
“Our reporters on the ground in Gaza delivered exceptional insights, updates and witness accounts during the heat of the conflict,” commented Managing Director of Al Jazeera English, Al Anstey. “At the one-month mark, with a ceasefire in place, we can now look at the impact and assess the damage to both sides.”
Al Jazeera assesses the scale of destruction of the Gaza strip, after a month of Israeli bombardment. The coverage also look at attempts to rebuild lives and infrastructure after weeks of airstrikes and a ground offensive, which has included heavy tank shelling in civilian areas.
Correspondents Andrew Simmons, Imtiaz Tyab and Charles Stratford will deliver live crosses from Gaza, covering the human impact of the conflict in Gaza; from child trauma to the reality of life under siege.
Miners Shot Down premieres on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 at 22h00CAT on Witness, Al Jazeera’s flagship documentary strand. The multi-award-winning documentary will screen daily until 16 August 2014, the two-year anniversary of the Marikana massacre it investigates.
In August 2012, mineworkers in Lonmin, one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines, began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days into the strike, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. The police insisted that they shot in self-defense, but Miners Shot Down tells a different story.
Using the point of view of the Marikana miners, Miners Show Down follows the strike from day one, showing the courageous but isolated fight waged by a group of low-paid workers against the combined forces of the mining company, the ANC government and their allies in the National Union of Mineworkers. What emerges is collusion at the top, spiraling violence and the country’s first post-apartheid massacre.