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Nessrin Ali Ahmad and Christy-Belle Geha, winners of the first AFP MENA scholarship

Two students have won the first ever AFP Middle East and North Africa (MENA) scholarship for French-language journalism students.

The aim of the scholarship is to help uncover new talents and give them a vital boost as they embark on their careers. Despite the challenging circumstances linked to the Covid crisis, the scholarship was organised with the help of a partnership with the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) for the Middle East based in Lebanon. Seven candidates sat for a written test at the AUF-MESRI’s Connected Campus of Beirut on April 20, followed by oral interviews on May 19 and 26.

AFP and AUF would like to thank all the candidates and the participating universities: the Lebanese University, the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik and the Saint Joseph University of Beirut.

This first edition forms part of AFP's wider policy in terms of corporate social responsibility and taking actions that favour greater diversity within its newsrooms.

 

 

Nessrin Ali Ahmad, 23, won a two-month scholarship working on the French desk in AFP’s MENA regional headquarters in Nicosia.

A student at the Saint Joseph University, she has a Master’s in Information and Communications, and a degree in History and International Relations. She has also just completed an exchange programme to earn a second Master’s in Journalism from the CELSA Sorbonne university. A veritable polyglot, it will be Nessrin’s first experience working for an international news organisation, although she has completed internships in radio and for MTV Lebanon.

 

"Joining the AFP newsroom will enable me to broaden my skills as a young journalist. I would like to put my knowledge to the test … and I am convinced that I will have much to learn from your teams", she wrote in her initial application.

 

Christy-Belle Geha, 20, has won a two-month scholarship working at AFP’s Beirut bureau, coinciding with the first anniversary of the devastating port explosion which rocked the city on August 4, 2020.

A student at the Lebanese University, Christy-Belle is completing her degree in Journalism and Media Studies. Also multilingual, Christy-Belle will be working for the first time with an international news agency, after having spent some time with the Lebanese daily An-Nahar.

 

 

"I am very motivated by the thought of this experience… I am convinced that being able to work with the agency’s teams will hone even more my journalistic instincts. I aim to bring (to the scholarship) my full commitment, dynamism and skills, including my ability in languages", Christy-Belle wrote in her application letter.
 

 

AFP’s regional management and the AUF Middle East congratulates both scholarship winners.

 

About AFP:

 

AFP is a leading global news agency providing fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the events shaping our world and of the issues affecting our daily lives. Drawing from an unparalleled news gathering network across 151 countries, AFP is also a world leader in digital verification. With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world in six languages, with a unique quality of multimedia storytelling spanning video, text, photos and graphics.

 

About AUF:

The Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) is the world’s leading universities network with 1,007 members in 119 countries across five continents. Founded almost 60 years ago, it is an expert in research and knowledge about the French-language. AUF works across numerous fields including training, research, digital learning, university governance, entrepreneurial skills and the employability of students, as well as sustainability. The executive body for the Middle East represents the AUF in the region. Opened in Beirut in 1993, it has 89 members in 16 countries.