Tala Al Sharif
Tala Al-Sharif is originally from Hebron in Palestine. She is 25 years old and the creator of the first video platform dedicated to women in Hebron: Female Chimeras.
From a very young age, Tala Al-Sharif dreamed of becoming a journalist so she could tell people, tell the world, the hidden media stories. After she finished school, she left for Birzeit University in Ramallah, where she started using video to break down the stereotypical views of the women of Hebron held by people in Ramallah.
People often told Al-Sharif she couldn’t become a journalist, especially in Hebron, as some deem it an unsuitable occupation for a woman without a hijab, or veil. This encouraged her to launch an audiovisual platform, to give the women of Hebron the chance to recount their challenges and achievements.
In 2017, she took part in the Safirlab project, supported by CFI and the Institut français, which helped her to make this project a reality, in particular thanks to the workshops and training offered. It was difficult at first to convince women to tell their stories and discuss sensitive subjects such as forced marriage, on camera, yet Al-Sharif gradually succeeded in demonstrating the importance of the role they play in breaking down stereotypes. Over the past ten years, there have been great changes in the Palestinian media. However, according to Al-Sharif, story coverage still needs to be improved, particularly in terms of gender equality and the representation of women in the media, which stands at just 12% in Palestine.
She concluded by saying: The priority is to let women choose what they want to be and what they want to build; it’s not up to men or clerics to make that decision for them!
In the media, we often hear that women are victims. With Female Chimeras, I tell stories so people can see, hear and know that women are ‘warriors’ who build their own lives despite all the difficulties they face.
Through the testimonies, portraits of journalists and the human adventures of our series Aswat Jadida ("New Voices", in Arabic), discover ten years of support for media development in the Arab world.