Programme journey

My story
North-East Syria
“Working as a journalist in Syria comes with danger. The EJSM program helps me to take security measures. It cannot make the dangers disappear, but I am more equipped to keep myself safe.”

Fear and danger are intangible, but always there

“Because of the war, 6.2 million Syrians had to leave their hometown and settle elsewhere in Syria. I am one of those millions called an internally displaced person. I now live in another city within Syria because of the threats I received as a result of my digital reporting. Danger is always lurking here; fear and stress are part of my daily life. The internet is slow, the power can go out at any moment and I have to stay alert to avoid being hacked or shut down. I have to be strong and not let myself be influenced by hate speech and cyber bullying on social media because I am a woman and because of my views. Either way, my drive is greater than my fear and I will not let it stop me from publishing stories about the real life of my community. I am determined to continue my work as a journalist.”

My personal media network

“Although online media connects us in amazing ways, it can make me feel isolated just as much. I feel like online media is the only communication to stay connected to the world and my old home. But sometimes it works against me and my work becomes more painful on social media when dealing with cyber attacks.

“Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.”

The reality of my situation is a challenging one. I have faced many obstacles as an on-the-ground reporter, and as a woman. Previously, I was trying to report on what was happening across divides in another area of the country, but while I was there I faced people who questioned me, were suspicious,and I felt unsafe trying to capture events as a journalist. I knew I needed to always be prepared with how to work carefully, and not to expose my identity. Security is a behavior that must be in my everyday thought and actions. This can be incredibly difficult because I always have to think twice about everything I do. For example nowadays I publish my articles anonymously for my protection. The COVID -19 restrictions have affected by ability to go out there and capture more news. Everyone has to adapt in these difficult situations, so I tried to follow online training to stay connected to others. There are days when the weak internet connection made it difficult to follow up, but I carry on. I have to, because my colleagues are in the same situation

“The fact that you are no longer alone and that others are there for you means an incredible amount to me.”

My story

“I really became aware of my safety when I was threatened online after publishing content. I realised then that I had to get serious about my safety and take measures to reduce risks. Feeling unsafe is not just about your physical condition, it goes far beyond that. The stress that comes from fear affects my mental well-being and that in turn affects me as a Syrian woman, but also my work as a journalist. At those moments it is a blessing to be supported by the security experts of the EJSM programme. I took part in their security webinars and psychological support, which has helped me to mitigate risks and manage my personal stress.”

“No one will unvoice me.”

Security is now a priority

“EJSM’s security program has a holistic approach because insecurity affects you both physically and mentally, it has a huge impact on my mental health. Threats are a many-headed monster. The EJSM program not only helps to bring awareness to the risks we are exposed to, it also provides measures so we can do our work more safely. We get online training and individual assistance for our psychosocial health and I learn to organize my digital and physical security. I have learned to take responsibility and accept security as an integral part of my work as a journalist. Despite the fact that I have little influence on the insecurity of our context, I am more equipped to deal with these fluctuations.”

Download materials
We invite you to study the materials on the subject of security. The program makes these materials available to the media industry in Syria and other countries where press freedom is under pressure.

Thanks to the support of the EJSM program

Psycho-Social Health Manual: here(ENG)


Cyber Digital Security Manual: here

My lessons learned

“It is okay to talk about psycho-social well-being, which is not a given in my culture.”

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This project was supported by SIDA 2016 -2021