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BBC News Arabic’s AimHigh disability scheme open for applications


We want anyone with a disability, whether it’s visible or not, and an interest in journalism, to apply. Sam Farah

BBC AimHigh is open to anyone with a disability and an interest or experience in journalism. The scheme will give successful candidates the chance to learn new skills and be mentored by editors from BBC News Arabic.

AimHigh launched in the Arab speaking world in 2018, and in its first year has seen disabled journalists from across the region develop their skills and work on high profile investigations as well as telling the stories of disabled people in the Arab world.   

Sam Farah, Head of BBC News Arabic, says: “I am so pleased to be opening applications for the BBC News Arabic AimHigh scheme for a second year. We want anyone with a disability, whether it’s visible or not, and an interest in journalism, to apply. BBC Arabic has been broadcasting for over 80 years and brings the BBC’s trusted and challenging journalism to the Arab world. I can’t wait to see what next year’s AimHigh cohort bring to our team.”

Rasha Kashan, BBC News Arabic’s Editor of Diversity and Special Projects, says: “I have been delighted to see what the journalists who come through AimHigh are able to achieve. Our aim with this scheme is to give a voice to disabled people who have important stories to tell, but who also face more obstacles than most when embarking on a media career. This year, we will be focusing on attracting talents in journalism from a diverse range of disabilities and regions.”

Some of the successful applicants from last year commented on what getting on the AimHigh scheme has done for them.

Mohammed al-Mujtabi Aamer, Sudan, says: “The AimHigh scheme was an exceptional experience for me, both professionally and personally. I met some colleagues who became true friends soon after, and this experience helped me to build more confidence in myself and to realise that my disability shouldn’t stand in the way of my ambitions as a journalist.”

Ramadan Younes, Egypt, says: “I was lucky to be one of the ten journalists from the Arab World who were given the opportunity to join the scheme in its first season in 2018. AimHigh was, and still is, the end of a dark tunnel for me. It really represented a life boat that saved me from drowning and brought me back to life. I found my true self in this venerable media organisation, through the AimHigh scheme.”        

Sidi Mohammed Mekaoui, Algeria, says: “AimHigh is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had in my life. It gave me mostly higher self-confidence and allowed me to meet and interact with journalists from BBC, and to establish a lasting relationship with the other trainees from AimHigh. It was the dream that used to seem impossible to achieve in life.”  

In the last year, successful AimHigh applicants reported on stories of great variety, from the story of a blind journalist who lives in a steel ‘caravan’ inside a primary school in Baghdad, to that of an American scholar who has decided to adopt the most controversial version of Islam in Sudan.

If you would like to be part of BBC News Arabic AimHigh 2020, you can apply here. The window for applications closes on 5 January 2020.

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