Isra al-Modallal

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Isra al-Modallal
Born1989/1990 (age 29–30)
Egypt
Alma materIslamic University of Gaza
OccupationHamas spokesperson
Known forFirst female spokesperson for Hamas

Isra al-Modallal (Arabic: إسراء المدلل) was the first female spokesperson in English for the Hamas government in Gaza between 2013–2014.[1] She was born in Egypt and raised in Gaza. She attended high school in Bradford, England, and graduated from Islamic University of Gaza with a degree in media studies. She worked as a broadcast journalist before accepting the spokesperson role. Her appointment was part of a Hamas effort to change its public image.

Early life and career[edit]

Isra al-Modallal was born in Egypt[2] to Palestinian refugees[3] and spent her youth in Gaza.[4] She attended Grange Technology College in Bradford, England[4] while her father went to university.[5] She developed a Yorkshire dialect while in England.[5] She graduated from the Islamic University of Gaza with a degree in media studies and later worked as a broadcast journalist.[5] She has credited camera experience at a local station and English-language satellite news channel as formative career experiences.[4]

Al-Modallal began her new role as the Hamas government's international spokesperson in November 2013.[5] She was the first female to hold the position.[5] Her appointment came as part of a Hamas effort change its public image under media head Ihab al-Ghussein, who opened a new government website, increased government social media use, and recruited younger staff.[4] As a female figure in power, her role was expected to more closely connect Palestinian and Hamas concerns with the West and to empower Palestinian women.[5] Al-Modallal has referred to herself as a Palestinian and not as a Hamas devotee.[4][5] She said she would focus on human rights and humanitarian causes, would not speak with Israeli media, and would launch a social media campaign.[5]

She is divorced, and has one daughter.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "أول مرة..ظهور الناطقة الإعلامية إسراء المدلل في مؤتمر صحفي بغزة". Rachel Corrie. 10 November 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  2. ^ Usborne, Simon (12 November 2013). "A move in the right direction? After years of restricting women's rights Hamas hires Isra Al-Modallal as its first female spokesperson". The Independent. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  3. ^ Tait, Robert. "British-educated woman becomes first female spokesman for Hamas". Telegraph. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Barzak, Ibrahim (10 November 2013). "Isra Almodallal Appointed First Spokeswoman For Hamas". The Huffington Post. AOL. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 14 November 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Sherwood, Harriet (7 November 2013). "Yorkshire-educated woman becomes first female Hamas spokesperson". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on 14 November 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.