Bahraini Trail-blazing Female Journalist Hopes to Establish Int’l Media Body Combating Terrorism

Ahdeya Ahmed Speaks to Majalla on Achievements of Bahraini Women
Ahdeya Ahmed, the Bahraini journalist and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Bahraini Journalists Association.

Renowned Bahraini journalist Ahdeya Ahmed is hoping to establish an international media body that crystallizes a unified media discourse to combat terrorism and extremism.

Ahmed, who is the first Bahraini woman to hold the position of Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Bahraini Journalists Association, said that the proposed body would help to fight extremist ideology in the region and across the world as well as establish stability and peace in the Middle East.

“I believe that within four or five years of establishing this body, we would see great achievements in terms of fighting extremists and consolidating peace and stability in troubled areas,” she told Majalla in an exclusive interview via Zoom.

Ahmed has a long, established journalism career as she worked as an editor for the Gulf Daily News in 1991, and for the Daily Tribune in 1997, and was among the founding editorial staff of the Tribune newspaper published in Bahrain.

Ahmed also held the position of spokesperson for the General Secretariat of the Cabinet in Bahrain and worked as a political analyst and media advisor in the same organization.

She reported for CNN, Arab News, and Saudi Gazette newspapers, in addition to working as an international news advisor at the Ministry of Information between 1993 and 2017.

ARAB WOMEN MAKING PROGRESS

Besides being a veteran journalist and media professional, Ahmed is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Arab Women's Authority in Bahrain.

She also has a membership in the Gender Council of the International Federation of Journalists since 2017 and is the first female Bahraini journalist to be a TV presenter of political talk shows in English since 1993.

“I am very proud to be part of these organizations that support and empower women politically, socially, and economically,” Ahmed said.

She added that through the Arab Women’s Authority she has been working on offering help to women who are affected with breast cancer because she believes that “there can never be a political or social or economic future for any country without having women in good health”.

“We have also been working on empowering women politically and supporting women in volunteering work,” Ahmed said.

On the conditions of Bahraini women, Ahmed said that she is very satisfied with the progress made by Bahraini women over the past decades in taking up positions that were dominated only by men.

“In 2006, we only had one female parliamentarian. Now, the number of women entering not only the parliament but other walks of life has increased tremendously. We see women as ministers, under-secretaries, ambassadors, bankers, etc,” she added.

Ahmed served as the official spokeswoman for the parliamentary elections in Bahrain in 2006.

“There is nothing called perfect, but conditions of women in Bahrain are close to perfect. The media also tends to speak about the challenges in the Arab world and how women are suffering. But this is not true. Women in the Arab world are making great progress,” Ahmed said.

SAUDI-BAHRAINI RELATIONS GROWING STRONGER

On the Saudi-Bahraini relations, Ahmed said that relations between the two Arab countries are deep-rooted and historical and are now growing stronger.

“Saudi Arabia has many supporting stances towards Bahrain and the Bahraini leadership, government and people can never forget those stances,” she added.

Ahmed also said that “Undoubtedly, the political leadership in both countries are showing a growing interest in boosting bilateral relations”.

“This confirms the depth of the relations and development in the fields of cooperation between the two countries and constitutes a great incentive to improve bilateral relations and the multiplicity of its fields in the future for the benefit of the two brotherly peoples,” she added.


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