Mohammed Omer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Mohammed Omer (Arabic: محمد عمر‎‎), (born 1984) is a Palestinian journalist. He has reported for numerous media outlets, including: The New York Times, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,;[1] Al Jazeera;[2] New Statesman;[3] Pacifica Radio; Electronic Intifada;[4] The Nation;[5] Inter Press Service;[6] Free Speech Radio News;[7] Vermont Guardian;[8] ArtVoice Weekly;[9] the Norwegian Morgenbladet;[10] and Dagsavisen; the Swedish dailies Dagen Nyheter; and Aftonbladet; the Swedish magazine Arbetaren;[11] the Basque daily Berria; and the German daily Junge Welt; and the Finish magazine Ny Tid.[12] He also founded the Rafah Today and the author of several books, including Shell-Shocked [13]


In 2008, Omer was awarded the 2007 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.[14] In the award citation, Omer was honored as "the voice of the voiceless" and his reports were described as an "humane record of the injustice imposed on a community forgotten by much of the world.".[15] Noam Chomsky said he had been following Omer's work for several years, and was pleased to learn of his award, "an honor that he richly deserves." He went on, he "...has continued his work with courage and integrity. It is no exaggeration to say that he can serve as a model of honorable journalism,".[16] He was also awarded the Ossietzky Prize by Norwegian P.E.N in 2009. Norwegian P.E.N is a branch of P.E.N International. The Prize was awarded for "outstanding achievements within the field of free expression".[17] He was also given an honorable mention in Pulse Media's 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009.[18]

  • “Best Youth Voice” (2006).[19]
  • Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism (2008) [14]
  • Ossietzky Prize (2009)[20]
  • Press Freedom Prize (2009) [21]
  • Ranked 398 by Arabian Business Power 500 2013 [22]


Omer was raised in the Rafah refugee camp at the southern end of the Gaza Strip near the Egyptian border. Mohammed began working to support his family at age six when his father was in an Israeli prison. In time, he landed a job at a backpack factory and since then has built an impressive resume as a translator, journalist, and program coordinator."[23]

Mohammed graduated with dual Bachelor degrees, English and Literature, from the Islamic University of Gaza in June 2006.[24]


Israeli restrictions have sometimes stopped him travelling to the West Bank.[25]

In 2008, while traveling back to the Gaza Strip via Allenby Bridge to the West Bank, Omer reported that he was stripped to his underwear, humiliated and beaten by Israeli soldiers while traveling into the West Bank from Jordan. According to a United Nations report, Mohammed Omer is convinced that the brutal assault occurred when the security services were frustrated at their inability to confiscate the money he had been awarded.[26]

He was subsequently hospitalized upon his return to Gaza, where it was discovered that Omer had sustained several broken ribs and various bodily contusions as a result of the ordeal. Omer has recovered since and has been able to maintain his position as a journalist. [27][28] The government of The Netherlands, who had sent a diplomat to welcome Omer and accompany him to Gaza, lodged an official protest with Israel about Omer's mistreatment.[29]


  1. ^ "Washington Report correspondent Mohammed Omer speaks with Hesham Tillawi", Current Issues TV,
  2. ^ "Mohammed Omer", Al Jazeera English,
  3. ^ "Mohammed Omer", New Statesman,
  4. ^ "Electronic Intifada - Mohammed Omer", Electronic Intifada,
  5. ^ "The Nation - Mohammed Omer", The Nation,
  6. ^ "Inter Press Service - Mohammed Omer", Inter Press Service,
  7. ^ "Right to facts November 2006", Right to facts,
  8. ^ "Vermont Guardian - Mohammed Omer", Vermont Guardian,
  9. ^ "It's all about people", It's all about people,
  10. ^ "Morgenbladet", Morgenbladet,
  11. ^ "Arbetaren", Arbetaren,
  12. ^ "Ny Tid", Ny Tid,
  13. ^ "Rafah Today", Rafah Today,
  14. ^ a b "Martha Gellhorn", Martha Gellhorn,
  15. ^ "Reporters share Gellhorn prize", The Guardian, 19 May 2008
  16. ^ "Ma'an News Agency - Norway grants award to Rafah journalist", Ma'an News Agency,
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Pulse Media - Pulse:20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009", Pulse Media,
  19. ^ "New American Media, "New American Media,"
  20. ^ Ossietzky-Prize "Ossietzky Prize"
  21. ^ "Pressfrihetspris till palestinsk fotograf"
  22. ^ [1], "arabian Business.Com."
  23. ^ "Gaza journalist Mohammed Omer: His life and words", Christian Avard, Vermont Guardian, 8 December 2006
  24. ^ Biography of Gaza Correspondent Mohammed Omer Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 2006. Verified 17th Nov 2008.
  25. ^ Viewpoints from Sderot and Rafah BBC 24th Jan 2008. Verified 17th Nov 2008.
  26. ^ Report of the Special Rapporteur in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1. "were attempting to confiscate the award money". 25 September 2008. Verified 26 Oct 2008.
  27. ^ Mel Frykberg, Israelis Assault Award Winning IPS Journalist, Inter Press Service, 28 June 2008
  28. ^ Gaza Reporter Says Mistreated By Israel, The New York Times, 30 June 2008
  29. ^ Netherlands protests treatment of journalist, Radio Netherlands, 27 June 2008

External links[edit]