Mohammed Omer

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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, the German daily Junge Welt and the Finish magazine Ny Tid.[12] He also founded Rafah Today and is 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, he 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 awarded the Ossietzky Prize by the Norwegian branch of P.E.N. International in 2009, 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. He began working to support his family at the age of six when his father was in an Israeli prison. In time, he took a job at a backpack factory and since then has built an impressive resumé as a translator, journalist and program co-ordinator.[23]

Omer 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, 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 on his return to Gaza, where it was discovered that he 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] The government of The Netherlands, which had sent a diplomat to welcome Omer and accompany him to Gaza, lodged an official protest with Israel about his mistreatment.[28]


  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" Archived 2008-06-30 at the Wayback Machine., Inter Press Service
  7. ^ "Right to Facts November 2006"
  8. ^ "Mohammed Omer", Vermont Guardian
  9. ^ "It's all about people"
  10. ^ "Morgenbladet" Archived 2011-10-10 at the Wayback Machine., Morgenbladet
  11. ^ "Arbetaren"[permanent dead link], Arbetaren
  12. ^ "Ny Tid", Ny Tid
  13. ^ Rafah Today
  14. ^ a b "Martha Gellhorn", Martha Gellhorn,
  15. ^ "Reporters share Gellhorn prize", The Guardian, 19 May 2008
  16. ^ "Norway grants award to Rafah journalist", Ma'an News Agency
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-03. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 
  18. ^ "20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009", Pulse Media
  19. ^ "New American Media
  20. ^ Ossietzky Prize Archived 2006-10-03 at
  21. ^ "Pressfrihetspris till palestinsk fotograf", Journalisten Archived 2009-02-15 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ "Arabian Business Power 500 2013",
  23. ^ Christian Avard, "Gaza journalist Mohammed Omer: His life and words", Vermont Guardian, 8 December 2006
  24. ^ Biography of Gaza Correspondent Mohammed Omer Archived 2008-11-09 at the Wayback Machine., Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 2006. Verified 17 November 2008.
  25. ^ "Viewpoints from Sderot and Rafah", BBC News, 24 January 2008. Verified 17 November 2008.
  26. ^ Report of the Special Rapporteur in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 Archived 2008-11-23 at the Wayback Machine.. "were attempting to confiscate the award money". 25 September 2008. Verified 26 October 2008.
  27. ^ Mel Frykberg, "Israelis Assault Award Winning IPS Journalist", Inter Press Service, 28 June 2008
    - "Gaza Reporter Says Mistreated By Israel", The New York Times, 30 June 2008
  28. ^ "Netherlands protests treatment of journalist" Archived 2008-12-05 at, Radio Netherlands, 27 June 2008

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