A panel discussion with Kismet El Sayed, Noura Younis, Shaayma Adel and Samah Abdel Aaty at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele. Moderation: film journalist Alaa Karkouti from Kairo
For weeks millions of viewers were able to follow the events of Arab Spring and ordinary Egyptians’ bid for freedom in which independent media in particular was to play a decisive role. Nobody could have suspected that the revolts organised by activists via social networks would lead to the collapse of a thirty-year-old repressive regime. Made in just eighteen days, ALTHAWRA … KHABAR is the biography of a nation and six courageous young reporters. This documentary showcases these journalists’ hitherto unpublished footage and describes how – in spite of being so exposed – they managed to survive these dangerous weeks unscathed. All six were present when, on 28 January, 2011, hundreds of people were killed and thousands injured. Although the state’s security forces had largely blocked mobile phone and internet communication, somehow these reporters found a way to disseminate their footage. This film also highlights a dilemma: did these journalists see themselves as reporters sworn to remain neutral, or did they feel that, as citizens, it was their duty to join in the fight for democracy and change? Is it even possible to remain objective in the face of unbearable injustice and brutality?