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Welcome to our conference blog

February 4, 2010

We are getting excited to travel to Egypt soon. We know everyone is busy with preparations, visas, flights and more. But take a minute to slow down and let us know a little bit about yourself. You will soon join a group of 40 outstanding journalists from the Arab World, Europe, Indonesia, Pakistan and the United States. All of you have been selected for your shared interest in digital journalism, freedom of expression and religious topics.

Tell us what you hope to get out of this conference and why. What topics do you hope we cover? What skills do you hope to gain?

To see the agenda, bios of the trainers, and more, visit the official Web site at: If you tweet about the conference, remember to use hashtag #FOEDA.

We’ll see you in Alexandria!

30 Comments leave one →
  1. Aisha Algaiar permalink
    February 5, 2010 6:03 pm

    I am Aisha Algaiar, Egyptian journalist based in Kuwait, I am writing on women’s issues, family and society in general, I feel I am lucky because I will be with you at the conference in Alexandria. I learned a lot from this course about” Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age” in ICFJ
    , and I expect to learn more with you, see you soon

  2. ritrovai permalink
    February 5, 2010 6:49 pm

    Hello! I am a freelance correspondent and proofreader originally from North Carolina, USA. I have lived and worked in Hungary, Italy, and Turkey. I currently contribute to a NC newspaper (covering local government issues) and collaborate as a proofreader with a decentralized, information-sharing, journalistic institute, based in Rovereto, Italy, focused on the Balkan and Caucasus regions. I really gained so much from the ICFJ course “Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age” and I can’t wait to learn more at the conference.

    • Alfred Wilson permalink
      February 14, 2010 9:14 pm

      We will be watching for your blog to see how the conference is progressing.

  3. journalist24x7 permalink
    February 5, 2010 6:55 pm

    This is Naveed Ahmad Rana, a journalist based in Islamabad, Pakistan. I specialise in reporting on security affairs, civil-military relations, diplomacy, energy and religion. I have always focussed on investigative reporting and my reports on missing persons, some of whom unfortunately ended up in Guantanamo bay prison, was exposed the country and the world about Pakistani dictator General Pervez Musharraf’s illegal and inhuman acts committed against his countrymen. Besides, I have to my credit stories about Iranian asylum seekers, hiding in Pakistan waiting for UNHCR help, financial corruption in public offices and how alternate energy is being used to make quick buck by the high-up in energy-starved Pakistan. I have not only written in leading Pakistani newspaper The News and appeared on Geo News but have also contributed to journalism through my work on Al-Jazeera English/Arabic, DW-tv, BBC, TV2, Aftensposten (Norway), McClatchyGroup of Newspapers (US), ISN Security Watch (Switzerland), Times of India (India), Corriere della Sera (Italy) etc. I am a former Jefferson Fellow (2000) at the East-West Center, Hawaii, US, besides other fellowships on nuclear non-proliferation and arms control, human rights, investigative journalism etc.
    However, I am a humble beginner as far digital journalism is concerned. I guess it would prove to be a tailor-made learning opportunity for me. Given serious job cuts in print and TV media, the timing of the conference could not have been better. . .

  4. February 5, 2010 7:39 pm

    thanks for those great introductions! I hope we hear from other soon – Dawn

  5. February 6, 2010 1:53 am


    I am thinking that should add one more page ntitled “Participants”.
    It would be as a a list of all participants with personal and professional biography.
    From other side, it is far easier for reviewing then presentation comments.
    And in any time can be watched.
    It would be nice that every participant has the own box with personal and professional information. Page should be signed in same where is ” home”, “about”.
    I am ready to help with sugesstion.
    Wordpress offer great opportunity of updating the article boxes plug in, but as I can see in foeda dashboard do not exist
    What do you think icfj staff.

    Best wishes
    Sasa Milosevic

    • February 8, 2010 11:48 am

      Hi Sasa,

      I started a new page called “participants” (see upper menu) where you all can do just that.

      Great suggestion!


  6. 3antar permalink
    February 6, 2010 4:14 am

    It is a pleasure to be part of this interesting conference, and it’ll be my honor to meet the participants and the staff. My name is Mohammed Antar, Lebanese Journalist, i basically work on International affairs at Future News TV, one of the leading news tv in Lebanon and the region. I’m also a freelance journalist at “now Lebanon”, a leading news website, and for AL-Liwaa Newspaper. Looking forward to meet you and to benefit from your experiences.

  7. February 6, 2010 4:34 am

    I Saadia Sehar Haidari work as Video journalist in Geo Independent Media Corporation Pakistan , Freelance Correspondent and Feature writer .I started my professional life as journalist since 1997. According my career I started from Nikhar weekly Urdu Newspaper as reporter/sub-editor then I joined Reuters in 1st Dec 2001.After one an half year I switch over in Visual News agency in 2003. I worked three years as senior correspondent in Visual news agency then I joined Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) in as feature writer/reporter/photo-journalist. At some stage in my career I highlighted many sensitive social issues through my features and reports. Parliament of Pakistan has been taken serious notice over that issues which I highlight such as harassment issue for working ladies at work place. Likewise, I have been given my service to UNDP as lead mental, UNICEF,ICRC, Arabic, Hong Kong News magazine and IDI Project of UK. Currently I am working with Geo TV Independent media Corporation as cameraperson and making documentaries. I am the first lady photojournalist and cameraperson of media in Pakistan.
    I face many challenges in my career life to get the key of my goals. I am doing my M.Phil in Mass Communication. I am widow, my husband Aziz Ullah Haidari who was correspondent of Reuter’s news agency. He was killed by Taliban in 19 November 2001 at Afghanistan with three other foreigner journalists. One was Spanish journalist, one was Italian lady journalist and one was Australian journalist.
    Recently I gained more skills in last training session of ICFJ” Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age” It is really very useful for me I learnt many new things such as how to change the negative ideology into positive and how to stop the violence with your positive writing. How do we improve our writing skills? In that session one more interesting thing that was the new digital innovation for our profession. I hope that you will provide us more fresh and relevant thing in coming session.

  8. February 6, 2010 6:17 am

    Hi and Asslama U Alaikum warehmatullah wabarakatuhu,
    This is Ahmed Mukhtar from Islamabad Pakistan, working mainly on eocnomic issues.
    We normally miss econoic aspects of the crisis during our debates in dedveloping nations. V can try to explore economic basis of the issues we have landed in during recent predicaments.
    Like terrorism in many shapes is basically an economic issue or is sustaining on economic grounds.
    Then V can C how other regions countering/reporting on those issues like Indonesia or even Egypt.
    Thanks for UN terming the group “the extraordinary journalists”, hope to improve our learning curve so that V can post our views.
    This usage of technology is really interesrting for me too, was planning to be more tech-user journalist for last few years, thanks to low tech environ and relliance on IT guys in offices who V thought will do on our behalf. Somebody said, in developing world, a computer putting on a table means office is fully automated. V R learning more into it now.
    Knowing how to place our write-ups and match the rest of the world in tech is not less than creating a beautiful garden in the backyard, from sowing seeds to the smelling shinny flowers just when sun is rising.
    I probably be somewhat qualified in journalism but was not in this tech and blogging, which started from the day V met our very intelligent teachers Hoda and Natasha (others were good too) and an intense interaction/competition began among us.
    V were 29 at Kathmandu, the glittering ones, every individuals, I believe,
    If Foeda can also explain from where and how other participants are coming will be helpful in next few days.
    I know Amer Farooq would say now, “U spoke too much”, while I M a laconic person.
    Oh yes, I studied economics, worked as journlists did few courses on it, attended several workshops, like beauty, novality & still learning how to learn.
    Thanks for reading,
    AHmed Mukhtar

    • Amer permalink
      February 8, 2010 12:10 pm

      Yup you ‘spoke too much’ Ahmed and much of what you spoke is what I can’t disagree with. Keep it up buddy, I hope this Conference is going to give us more, and much-required insight into emerging digital media tools. Good luck

      Amer Farooq

  9. February 6, 2010 7:47 am

    Hi, am looking forward to the conference in Alexandria and can’t wait to meet you all. I am a journalist based in Jerusalem and write on social affairs and human interest topics for The Jerusalem Post.

    See you all in a week or so!
    Ruth E

  10. alia al-rabeo permalink
    February 6, 2010 2:14 pm

    Dear all ,you cann’t imagine how happy iam for sharing you all this great chance ,my name is alia alrabeo ,iam a journalist from Syria, iam working as a reporter with Awan newspaper and also with IWPR( the institute for war and peace reporting) , i focus in my work on culutral fields like (theatre-books..etc) but i like also to work on social stories espically women’ issues also on Feature stories ,i don’t like to talk alot about my self because we will see each others in Alexandria .

  11. Sasa Milosevic permalink
    February 6, 2010 7:50 pm


    It s my great pleasure to be a part of this unique media conference in Alexandria.
    I am coming from South East Europe and I am ready to share the own professional experiences with my colleagues around the world in battle for media democracy.

    I am freelance journalist for a 20 years. I never work as a staff considering that only as a freelancer may be free and have unlimited choice of free writing.
    Member of Serbian Association of Journalists
    I have collaborated with the most prestigious Serbian newspapers and magazines.
    The owner, editor and journalist of Serbian on line magazines Daily Serbia
    The owner of the next blogs:
    Bloody Yellow House (
    Fexda (
    Contributor for United International Press (
    Collaboration with
    Initiator the Center for ESL journalists (CESL)

    Basic education: Dentistry, University of Belgrade, Serbia
    Forensic odontology, University of Oslo, Norway
    Blog about dental tourism
    In one part of my life I tried to be happy in dentistry instead journalism but times showed that it is impossible. Althought, dentistry helped me to find new challenge in me – forensic odontology- as the way to have big knowledge from branches close to those segments of journalism that request specific knowledge such as: war, war crimes, human rights, etc.
    But, no one journalism category is not problematic for me if I “smell” good topic.

    I use Internet as one of the main resources for my work and I am sure it is media of future. I have made lot of contacts with interesting people over different social networks and write lot of stories that may have never been born without on line industry.

  12. Amanda Wilson permalink
    February 6, 2010 8:49 pm

    I forgot to tell you my name: it’s Amanda. 🙂 Best wishes to everyone for your preparations before the journey to Egypt.

    Amanda Wilson

    Create Your Badge

  13. fransiscaromana permalink
    February 7, 2010 6:00 am

    Hi, I’m fransisca romana. You can call me FRO, as my initial in my newspaper. I work for KOMPAS Daily in Indonesia and for this past 3 years I write world news. you can visit, but it’s in Indonesian. But you can still see the pics… 🙂
    I’m really happy to have this opportunity to meet you all in Alexandria (hope so, I’m still waiting for my visa 🙂 )
    Talking about reporting in digital age, at one side, I’m happy to learn more about it. but on the other side, I’m a bit sad too. We talk about the fate of print media, where I work now. Not a good news anyway for us 😦
    However, this is the challenge that we cannot escape from. Let’s face it with more optimism 🙂 no worry bout that…

  14. February 7, 2010 7:03 am

    Hello to all,

    My name is Beena Qayyum Khan, from Pakistan and I work in the electronic media, heading a crime desk, and producing a daily show related to crime. Since crime in any country is a topic that cannot be ignored, the content never runs dry.
    I have had experience in front of the camera, as I was an anchor, before opting to be a producer.
    I have worked for an English Daily, The News, as a feature writer. I also worked for CNBC Pakistan as a correspondent and News Presenter.
    I am quite overwhelmed and awed by the profiles of all of you, so I really cannot write much about myself, or my work, as I feel, I am just a beginner.
    I believe in this digital age, one needs to learn new skills constantly, to keep up with the times. And this training would be beneficial to us.
    Really looking forward to meeting all of you and learning from your experiences as well.

  15. February 8, 2010 12:43 am

    I am truly looking forward to the seminars and the dialogues among the participants at this conference. This is a rare opportunity for me and I plan on making the best of it. I believe that you receive in proportion to what you give and I plan on giving my best effort during the Alexandria conference.

    I am constantly seeking to improve my skills and abilities as a reporter and a photographer and I see this as wonderful time to listen to others, learn and develop even stronger skills.

    One week from today, I’ll be in Alexandria, Egypt, half a world away from Pocatello, Idaho, sitting down with fellow journalists from all over the world, sharing opinions, discussing trends and the changing dynamics in the world of reporting. See you there.

    Bill Schaefer

  16. Ruzanna permalink
    February 9, 2010 3:12 pm

    just an FYI: FOEDA can not be found on Twitter.

  17. tantushyan permalink
    February 9, 2010 3:37 pm

    Hi there! I found posts about FOEDA (with a # tag) but there is no FOEDA account on Twitter.

    The reason I am bringing this to your attention is because you are saying on the official ICFJ conference site – ( see “More About Conference”) – that we can follow you on Twitter. I was confused as the post says “follow us on Twitter #FOEDA” instead of @FOEDA.

    So, perhaps there is simply no FOEDA on twitter rather just tweets about FOEDA?

    • February 9, 2010 3:41 pm

      Yes! the “hashtag” #FOEDA is used to indicate that FOEDA is a place or event. The @ symbol is used for people or organizations. For example, to follow ICFJ’s account, you search for @ICFJ. To follow the conference, you have to save a search of #FOEDA. Does that make sense?

  18. tantushyan permalink
    February 9, 2010 4:03 pm

    Absolutely! Thanks for instant response. I am getting more and more comfortable with the blog. see you.

  19. February 9, 2010 6:13 pm

    Hi, I am a freelance journalist currently based in the United Kingdom. I am eagerly looking forward to meeting you all in the Alexandria conference next week.

    Waiting for a few days has been like ‘Waiting for Godot’ of Samuel Becket for me so you can imagine how I am interested about the issues to be discussed at the conference and meeting you from America,Europe, Arab World and Pakistan and Indonesia.

  20. February 10, 2010 12:58 am

    صباح الخير لكم .. انا عبير ابو طوق من الاردن .. اتطلع بشوق للقدوم الى الاسكندرية والمشاركة في المؤتمر برفقة المدربين والزملاء الذين يتميزون بخبرات متنوعة ظهرت خلال دورة حرية التعبير التي نظمها المركز الدولي للصحفيين خلال الشهرين الماضيين ..

    اكتب باللغة العربية لانني لا اتقن اللغة الانجليزية .. لكنني قريبا جدا وبعد العودة من الاسكندرية سانتسب لاحدى المراكز الخاصة بتعليم اللغة الانجليزية واتمنى ان التقى بكم بعد عام على ابعد تقدير لاتخدث معكم الانجليزية بكل طلاقة

    مسرورة جدا لانني ساشارك في هذا المؤتمر .. واتمنى للجميع كل التوفيق ..

    عبير هشام ابو طوق

  21. SundusRasheed permalink
    February 10, 2010 3:02 am

    Hi everyone!

    I am a radio broadcast professional based in Karachi. Looking forward to meeting everyone with a personal introduction soon.



  22. Aroosa Masroor permalink
    February 11, 2010 7:53 am

    Hi everyone, I am Aroosa Masroor from Karachi, Pakistan. I am currently working as a Staff Reporter / Multimedia Content Producer with, which is the web edition of the Dawn newspaper. I started my career in journalism in 2005 as a daily correspondent for The News, a major English daily in Pakistan and have worked on several news beats including human rights, religious minorities, health, education, environment and various human interest topics. I have also remained the editor of a weekly magazine Kolachi (of The News) after which I switched to online journalism in June 2009.

    Apart from this, I also work as a Media Trainer for the ‘Open Minds’ project of Institute of War and Peace Reporting (UK) in Karachi, where I train young students from marginalised backgrounds in journalism and discussion skills.

    I graduated with a Masters in Mass Communication from University of Karachi in 2006.

  23. tonybjr permalink
    February 15, 2010 3:21 am

    There was already a great debate last night at dinner at nearly 2am as be broke bread and ate fish at our temporary hotel.
    I’m officially at the conference.
    And am currently listening to Andreu Claret Executive Director for the Anna Kindh Foundation

    • February 15, 2010 3:47 am

      Thanks Tony! Can’t wait to hear more about the debate. Feel free to publish a post about it.


      • Aroosa permalink
        February 15, 2010 4:56 am

        I agree. The info may be esp useful for those who slept early 🙂 do share a few points from the debate with us..thanks

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