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Samir Kassir Foundation
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MOM Team

Jihane Abdallah is the Finance Officer of the Beirut-based Samir Kassir Foundation – SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom, the leading freedom of expression NGO in the Levant region. She joined SKF in February 2012. In this capacity, Jihane manages the Foundation’s accounting, budgeting and reporting activities. She shares her extensive experience by overseeing the accounting / finance departments of The Lebanese Initiative for Oil and Gas (LOGI) and House of Peace (HOPe). She previously served as Finance Officer at Abaad – Resource Center for Gender Equality, Regional Finance Officer at Save the Children - Sweden and Accountant / Office Manager at the Arab Image Foundation. She is also a consultant for the establishment of Accounting and Finance Departments in emerging NGOs.  

Lea Auffarth is Junior project manager for the Media Ownership Monitor for Lebanon and Egypt. She studied Journalism in Germany (TU Dortmund) and Turkey (Bilgi Üniversitesi Istanbul), did a traineeship with the West German Broadcasting Corporation and worked as freelance journalist for radio and online publications. In her Master degree in Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies at King’s College London she studied national, ethnic and religious conflicts in the Middle East.

Nour El-Assaad is a translator and interpreter, with more than 15 years of notable industry experience. She worked at the National Democratic Institute, where she specialized in political and election- related terminology. In 2017, she founded L’Atelier Translations, a company that offers translation and interpretation services. Nour also translates the work of Joumana Haddad, a Lebanese journalist and poet. Nour has a MA in translation from Saint-Joseph University and another MA in interpretation from the Lebanese University. 

Widad Jarbouh is a journalist and researcher defending freedom of thought and expression. She is in charge of the Lebanese and Palestinian folders at the Samir Kassir Foundation/SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom since October 2010. She holds a BA in journalism and a capacity-building for non-profits certificate from the Lebanese American University. She is also press officer for the Beirut Spring Festival. 

Mahmoud Younis is a senior graphic designer with 11 years of experience. He is an expert in branding, illustrations, social media, marketing and advertising. He has been Web administrator and graphic designer at the Samir Kassir Foundation since January 2015. In 2010, he created an art studio called Designosaur where he exhibited his artworks. Mahmoud is also a visual artist who participated in several exhibitions and art activities.

Micheline Khoueir is the administrative officer at the Samir Kassir Foundation – SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural freedom. She joined SKF in February 2018. She studied architecture at ALBA (Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts). She previously served as sales manager in the private sector. 

Clothilde Le Coz is a journalist and an international technical expert in media development. She works as a MOM MENA regional manager and covers Tunisia, Morocco Lebanon and Egypt. In 2015, she led the research for MOM pilot-project in Cambodia. A former director for Reporters Without Borders USA in Washington DC, she started to work in 2007 as a journalist, specialising in online freedom issues. Based in Southeast Asia from 2012 to 2016, she reported about political and social issues for international media outlets from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar. In parallel, she worked in the media development field as an expert and a journalism trainer. Her area of expertise focuses on media independence and the role of civil society in countries in democratic transition. Clothilde holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs & Journalism from Sciences Po Grenoble. 

Joseph Melhem El-Hachem is a member of Lebanon’s Editors Syndicate. He worked as journalist, sub-editor and managing editor for Nass wa Nass supplement, columnist and general supervisor for Nida’ Al-Watan daily from 1992 to 2000, sub-editor for Al-Basir monthly in 1997 and Al-Usbu’iya Iraki magazine (he also co-founded its Lebanese version in 2007). Since 2000, he has been a sub-editor for Al-Mustaqbal daily, where he also manages the Politics section and is in charge of opinion articles. He is the editing coordinator at the SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom since 2009 and works as a freelance writer for Al-Hayat daily. He took part in several conferences and seminars tackling freedom of expression and opinion, and training workshops for Lebanese journalists and bloggers in Lebanon and abroad on how to write news articles and choose the right titles. 

Ayman Mhanna is the Executive Director of the Beirut-based Samir Kassir Foundation – SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom, the leading freedom of expression NGO in the Levant region. He joined SKF in September 2011. In this capacity, Ayman oversees the Foundation’s monitoring, advocacy, research and training activities. From January 2016 to February 2017, he was also the Executive Director of the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD), a network of 200 media development and journalism assistance organisations. Both at the Samir Kassir Foundation and GFMD, Ayman oversaw the organization of large-scale conferences, workshops and festivals, gathering hundreds of participants. He previously served as Senior Program Officer for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (2007-2011) working on election observation, electoral reform and civil society involvement in public policy-making. He was also a lecturer on the Master’s programme at Saint Joseph University’s Faculty of Economics, teaching Policy Development and Communications (2011-2016). Ayman holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Saint Joseph University in Beirut and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Sciences Po Paris.  

Edward Rowell, from London, England, came to Beirut in September 2018 having just finished A Levels at Prior Park College in Bath and started working as an intern at the Samir Kassir Foundation, helping out on the project, assisting research and proofreading.

Jad Shahrour is a Lebanese journalist and a civil society activist. He has been working as the SKF communication officer since March 2017.  Focusing on economic and political reform in the country, his work revolves around using the media to advance societal cohesion, tolerance, and defend freedom of expression and digital rights. In 2014, he was part of the founding team of The New Arab, now a leading English-language source of Middle East news, focusing on influential media news (socio-political stories). He worked there as a senior editor and journalist. Throughout his career, Jad campaigned to advance equality and the rule of law, taking part in workshops and local and Arab conferences tackling human rights, raising awareness on the situation for Sudanese refugees and campaigning on gender-based violence, especially in Syria.  

Nada Sleiman is a translator and a researcher for the Beirut-based Samir Kassir Foundation – SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom. She joined SKF in November 2011. Besides translating all reports and press releases for the foundation, she is also contributing to media monitoring projects and support to emerging media. Nada is also involved in organizing the Foundation’s main international conferences. She has been teaching translation and communications at the St-Joseph University in Beirut since 2011. 

Olaf Steenfadt heads the "Media Ownership Monitor" project for Reporters Without Borders. For many years, he has been involved as a consultant and coach for media pluralism, especially in development cooperation. Mandates of international organizations and NGOs lead him primarily to Southeast Europe and in the Arab world. He previously worked for ARD and ZDF in various roles, including as radio and TV presenter, investigative author, domestic and foreign correspondent, as well as in format development and program marketing. Olaf teaches media history, media policy and regulation at universities in Germany and Europe. 

The Samir Kassir Foundation

The Samir Kassir Foundation is a Lebanese non-profit organization officially incorporated in Beirut under registry number 30/A.D., founded on February 1, 2006. It is named after Samir Kassir, a Lebanese journalist assassinated in Beirut on June 2, 2005. It aims to spread democratic culture in Lebanon and the Arab world, encourage new talents in journalism, and build the movement for a cultural, democratic, and secular renewal. These are the conditions to lift the Arab populations out of their “state of malaise,” described in Samir Kassir’s book “Being Arab.” The Foundation strives to defend freedom of media and culture through the SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom that it hosts since 2008, which has become the largest center to monitor violations against journalists and artists in the Arab Levant as well as a reference for research on journalism and for training media professionals and enhancing their skills. 

Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders (Reporter Sans Frontières, RSF) was founded in Montpellier (France) in 1985 by four journalists. It is is registered in France as a non-profit organization and has consultant status at the United Nations and UNESCO. RSF advocates for media freedom, supports independent media and protects endangered journalists worldwide. Its missions are

- To continuously monitor attacks on freedom of information worldwide.

- To denounce any such attacks in the media.

- To act in cooperation with governments to fight censorship and laws aimed at restricting freedom of information.

- To morally and financially assist persecuted journalists, as well as their families.

- To offer material assistance to war correspondents in order to enhance their safety.

Since 1994, the German section is active in Berlin. Although this section works closely with the International Secretariat in Paris to research and evaluate media freedom worldwide, it is organizationally and financially independent. In that role, it has applied for a grant at the federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development – in order to finance the Media Ownership Monitor project.

Global Media Registry

The Global Media Registry (GMR) collects, compiles and provides – either publicly available or self-reported – datasets and contextual information on media outlets around the world.

In doing so, the objective is to enhance transparency, accountability and responsibility in the information space. Thus, the GMR facilitates better choices and decision making, both algorithmic and human, of all stakeholders. These may include every citizen and consumer, regulators and donors, as well as the private sector – for example advertisers and intermediaries (a. k. a. platforms and distributors).

By providing this public service as a social enterprise, the Global Media Registry contributes to the advancement of the freedoms of information and expression at large.

It was founded as a spin-off from the Media Ownership Monitor project, which it now operates as a non-for-profit LLC registered under German law.

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