Er­bil Sports Jour­nal­ists Board founded

In spite of los­ing to San­harib in the away leg of the fi­nal match, Akad be­come Kur­dis­tan league cham­pi­ons

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - Zakaria Muhammed

Un­der the slo­gan of "The unity of sports jour­nal­ists and keep­ing their rights are our aim," three sports jour­nal­ists de­clared the es­tab­lish­ment of the Er­bil Sports Jour­nal­ists Board in the Kur­dish cap­i­tal city of Er­bil.

The dec­la­ra­tion took place on Jan­uary 23, at the Min­istry of Cul­ture's Train­ing Unit in Er­bil where many sports jour­nal­ists and ath­letes were in at­ten­dance. The board is cur­rently run by Ah­mad Mustafa, Hiwa Mala Qader, and Ma­ma­yara Ah­mad, three jour­nal­ists who are based in Er­bil city and are work­ing for three dif­fer­ent me­dia agen­cies.

"In this board all the jour­nal­ists will have the same po­si­tions. No one is higher than the other un­less the mem­bers re­quest to have some­one to head the board. In or­der the sports jour­nal­ists can bet­ter rep­re­sent them­selves, we ask all of them to be­come mem­bers of the board," said Ah­mad Mustafa, one of the founders of the board.

In ad­di­tion to re­porters and broad­cast­ers, cam­era­men, de­sign­ers, and other press re­lated peo­ple who work in sports jour­nal­ism field can also be­come mem­bers of the board.

The es­tab­lish­ment of Er­bil Sports Jour­nal­ists Board comes a few months af­ter Kur­dis­tan Sports Jour­nal­ists Com­mit­tee (KSJC) held its con­fer­ence and de­clared its new sec­re­tary and mem­bers.

One of the main du­ties of the board, ac­cord­ing to Hi­wam Mala Qader, a mem­ber of the board, is to play a role in res­cu­ing Kur­dis­tan sports from its cur­rent dilemma through co­or­di­nat­ing with other sides and or­ga­ni­za­tions.

"We don't want to work against any other sides and or­ga­ni­za­tions. We only want to help serve sports in Kur­dis­tan gen­er­ally and sports jour­nal­ists in par­tic­u­lar," said Mala Qader.

Un­like KSJC, ac­cord­ing to Mala Qader, work­ing in the board isn't based on pol­i­tics; sports jour­nal­ists from any me­dia agen­cies can be­come mem­bers of the board.

"We are only three jour­nal­ists who founded this board. Each one of us has dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal views, but we can all work with each other. We want to show to oth­ers that pol­i­tics shouldn't pre­vent jour­nal­ists from work­ing with each other and shouldn't be con­sid­ered as a stan­dard for be­com­ing mem­bers of our board," ex­plained Mala Qade.

Although KSJC is claimed to be founded on the prin­ci­ple of pro­tect­ing jour­nal­ists' rights and serv­ing sports in gen­eral, many sports press peo­ple think KSJC hasn't been fair in their works. The es­tab­lish­ment of Er­bil Sports Jour­nal­ists Board is con­sid­ered to be­come like an ob­ser­va­tion or­ga­ni­za­tion for mon­i­tor­ing KJSC's works and du­ties.

"We haven't seen jus­tice in the works of the KJSC so far. We are not declar­ing our­selves to stand against KJSC at all, but we will be ac­tive ob­servers on their works. We want to see if KJSC mem­bers would tres­pass from their le­gal do­main," he warned.

Although many sports jour­nal­ists at­tended the event of the board dec­la­ra­tion, many oth­ers didn't un­der dif­fer­ent pre­texts. Ma­ma­yara Ah­mad, an­other mem­ber of the board, said "we wish all the jour­nal­ists could have at­tended so that they could bet­ter un­der­stand the im­por­tance of the board and its tasks and aims."

Ah­mad also said the board needs ev­ery­body's help since it has no fi­nan­cial sources and is not sup­ported by any po­lit­i­cal side. How­ever, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of some or­ga­ni­za­tions and cen­ters, who at­tended in the dec­la­ra­tion of the board, showed their readi­ness to help the board by pro­vid­ing mo­ral sup­port.

Metro Cen­ter, which is an or­ga­ni­za­tion for de­fend­ing jour­nal­ists rights in Er­bil, con­firmed its sup­port for the board through its rep­re­sen­ta­tive and de­cided to pro­vide jour­nal­ists with lawyers in case of fac­ing le­gal is­sues.

Cana­dian Cen­ter for Train­ing Jour­nal­ists in Kur­dis­tan also promised to sup­port the board through open­ing train­ing cour­ses for those who be­come mem­bers of the board.

The board is sup­posed to pre­pare its pol­icy and work­ing pro­grams based on sug­ges­tions and ideas pro­vided by all jour­nal­ists soon. If things go well and the board wins jour­nal­ists' sat­is­fac­tion, jour­nal­ists from other parts of Kur­dis­tan may get in­vited for mem­ber­ship and the board's name may change to Kur­dis­tan Sports Jour­nal­ists Board.

A pho­tog­ra­pher takes pic­tures in Franso Hariri Sta­dium in Er­bil.

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