Gadeer Mreeh

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Gadeer Mreeh
רדיר כמאל מריח Radir Kamal Marih (cropped).jpg
Mreeh anchoring the news in 2018
Date of birth (1984-06-21) 21 June 1984 (age 34)
Place of birthDaliyat al-Karmel, Israel
Knessets21
Faction represented in Knesset
2019–Blue and White

Gadeer Kamal Mreeh (Arabic: غدير كمال مريح‎, Hebrew: רָדִיר כַּמַאל מְרֵיח, [raˈdir kaˈmal maˈrix], born 21 June 1984) is an Israeli journalist and politician. A Druze, in 2017, she became the first non-Jewish woman to anchor a Hebrew-language news program on Israeli television.[1][2] In 2019, she was elected to the Knesset as a member of the Blue and White alliance, the first Druze woman to become a Member of the Knesset.

Early life and education[edit]

Gadeer Kamal was born in Daliyat al-Karmel, a village on Mount Carmel.[3] Her father is a building contractor.[4] Like other Druze, her family is loyal to the State of Israel. Mreeh remembers her father decorating their car with Israeli flags every Independence Day.[4]

Mreeh has been interested in broadcast journalism since her youth; at the age of 12, she volunteered for a local radio station, and also presented programs on cable television.[4] She earned her bachelor's degree in social science and medical imaging at Bar-Ilan University, and began her career as a vascular ultrasound technician.[1] Later, she studied for her master's degree in international relations, with a speciality in negotiation, at the University of Haifa.[1][2]

Journalism career[edit]

In 2012, Mreeh was hired by the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation to present a television magazine program in Arabic.[4][1] In 2015, she was chosen to anchor an Arabic-language news program on Channel 33.[1]

In February 2017, Mreeh became the anchor of the Channel 1 Hebrew-language weekend edition, becoming the first non-Jewish woman to anchor a Hebrew-language news program on Israeli television.[1][2] She was a temporary replacement for regular anchor Michal Rabinovich, who returned to the program seven months later.[1]

Mreeh spent three months training with a teleprompter to deliver the news in Hebrew.[4] However, she made a point of pronouncing Arabic names with an Arabic accent.[4] Some community leaders complained to her parents about her new job, saying that a Druze woman should not be working in the evenings and at odd hours, but Mreeh received positive support from her parents and husband, as well as from the community's spiritual leader, Sheikh Mowafaq Tarif.[1][2]

Political career[edit]

Prior to the April 2019 Knesset elections, Mreeh joined the Israel Resilience Party, a member of the Blue and White alliance, and was placed 25th on the Blue and White list.[5] When she joined the faction, she stated that one of her goals was to amend Israel's Nation-State Bill, which specifies the nature of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.[3]

Mreeh was elected to Knesset when the Blue and White alliance won 35 seats in the election.[6] She is the first Druze woman to become a Member of Knesset.[6]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Shadi Mreeh, an electrical and electronics engineer.[4] The couple has two sons, and reside in her hometown of Daliyat al-Karmel.[4][1] While Mreeh's mother and grandmother are religious, stay-at-home mothers, she identifies as secular.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Rott, Rikki (12 October 2017). "יחידה מובחרת: הכירו את "יונית לוי הדרוזית"" [The Chosen One: Meet 'Yonit Levi the Druze']. Makor Rishon (in Hebrew). Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Friedson, Felice (18 November 2018). "Druze anchorwoman shatters Israel's glass ceiling". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b Chernick, Ilanit (2 April 2019). "Gadeer Mreeh set to break the glass ceiling for Druze women in politics". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Segal, Itai (22 February 2017). "מהדורה מיוחדת" [Special Edition]. Yediot Ahronoth (in Hebrew). Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  5. ^ "כחול לבן בראשות בני גנץ ויאיר לפיד" [Blue and White under the leadership of Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid] (in Hebrew). Israel Central Elections Committee. 9 April 2019. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Druze woman set to enter Knesset in Israeli first". The Jerusalem Post. 10 April 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2019.

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