Arab Muslim female seeks respect as a political reporter

[T]here is no single way that I chose my major. It began with a fascination with international affairs at an early age and progressed to recognizing that at the root of all politics is media. I became a mass communications major in college to further understand the effects media has on politics, which was directly related to influential aspects of government like public reactions to war. This is extremely important to me because as a Middle Eastern woman, figuring out how and why the United States has access to go to war on foreign soil is something I am still struggling to understand.

After the Arab Spring in 2011, I began focusing my energy to finding the correlations between the Occupy protests in the United States, the financial crisis protests in Greece, the political rallies in Turkey, and so on. The underlining difference I found in all of them was the way the media reported on these demonstrations and how that affected the overall strategy of the protesters. This further solidified my desire to become a political reporter because I understood how important ethical journalism is and the effects it has on society.

Some of the obstacles I had to overcome include the struggle of being an active participant in a dialogue that is generally dominated by men. As an undergraduate student, I was often the only female in my entire graduating class that ever spoke up or expressed a desire to further my education in political journalism. This made it easier for my male counterparts to take control of a reporting situation, often leaving me to work alone or fend for myself when it came hard news.

Another obstacle I faced (and currently face) is finding acceptance of an Arab, Muslim, headscarf-wearing woman to be at the center of a political crisis and taken seriously as a serious journalist.

A Masters degree from Georgetown University in Journalism would not only be a way for me to further my education in journalism, but it would also provide me with the resources and political connections through the D.C. area that would help further my career as a reporter.

We are proud to announce Sumaya Attia is one of the current DiversityJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.