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First Nubian Woman Wins Arab Journalism Award For Exposing Corruption In Cairo

Hoda Zakaria wins the Arab Journalism Award for her investigative report uncovering the truths about stem cell therapy in Egypt.

As the deputy head of the investigation department in the prestigious Al-Youm Al-Sabaa, Hoda Zakaria wrote an investigative report about how at least four Egyptian medical centres encourage patients with stem cell therapy despite Minister of Health Adel Adawy’s efforts to prohibit such treatment. Now this report has earned Zakaria the Arab Journalism Award.

Being a young woman who aspires to help those who don’t have a voice through journalism, Zakaria moved from Nubia and followed her dream as a journalist by attending the Faculty of Mass Communication at Cairo University. “I’ve always been interested in writing human-interest stories that can touch each reader,” Zakaria told Daily News Egypt

Though nominated before, this was Zakaria’s first time to win this award. However, throughout the past four years, she won four different prizes; two were at the United Nations by the Women's Committee, and the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism network. “I was attracted to writing about the current circumstances of African refugees in Egypt and the dangers of the chemical ingredients that factories add to white cheese and how they can cause cancer,” she told them.“As a woman, it is never an easy task to uncover such corruption issues. It requires a challenging and adventurous spirit. I was threatened many times and I always prefer to hide the idea of my next investigative report from my parents because I don’t want them to worry,” she added. Zakaria previously wrote about illegal abortion clinics around Cairo, in addition to several villages in Giza where thousands of handicapped children awaited medical care. To get such information and reveal the harsh truth, Zakaria has to disguise herself as a patient looking for help. However, before publishing the story, she informs the people she is writing about that she’s going to publish an article and informs them that they have the right to fight back or defend themselves. 

Zakaria currently trains young journalists to work towards investigative reporting because she believes that the greatest reward is unveiling the truth and exposing it to people.