Hona Zarqa: the local women making the media their own

Alice Su – Middle East Monitor – Friday, 13 September 2013 (originally published  10 Sept)

Zarqa Jordan
Jordan’s industrial centre, Zarqa, is home to the country’s oldest Palestinian refugee camp. Image: Middle East Monitor

Sally Ahmed Zarir works in a newsroom inside a refugee camp. Zarqa, Jordan’s industrial centre 12 miles northeast of Amman, is home to over 50 per cent of Jordanian’s factories, a 15.9 per cent unemployment rate, and the country’s oldest Palestinian refugee camp.

24 year-old Zarir is one of fifteen women who report and produce Hona Zarqa, a biweekly newspaper and weekly radio program based in the United Nations Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA) camp.

Originally set up in 1949, the camp now hosts more than 20,000 refugees and a women’s center teaching life skills, computer training and offering psychological counseling. Since January, the center has also become headquarters for a group of local women reporters. They range from 18 to 40 years old. Most are Palestinian; all were born and raised in Zarqa . . .

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