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RSF Sweden awards press freedom prize to Syrian group “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently”

first_img Receive email alerts April 27, 2016 – Updated on August 19, 2016 RSF Sweden awards press freedom prize to Syrian group “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” This year’s Press Freedom Prize from the the Swedish section of Reporters Without Borders is awarded to the Syrian group of citizen journalists Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently. The group provides one of the very few independent voices from within IS controlled territory in northern Syria. Several members of the group have lost their life to get information out to the public. March 12, 2021 Find out more RSF_en News Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) is awarded RSF Sweden’s Press Freedom Prize for “their courage to keep reporting, huge personal risks, from a conflict with an almost total information blackout”. Syria has become the world’s deadliest country for journalists. Professional and citizen-journalists alike are now caught between the various parties to the conflict – both the regime and its allies and the various armed opposition groups including the Kurds and Jihadi fighters such as Islamic State. RBSS was created in 2014 as the Islamic State (IS) invaded Raqqa and proclaimed it to be the capital of their Caliphate. At the time the group consisted of 17 anonymous members. They gathered information from within the hermetically isolated city and smuggled it out of the country. RBSS is still one of the few independent sources of information from within IS controlled territory. “There’s almost a complete lack of independent information from areas controlled by the Islamic State. Almost everything is propaganda. RBSS’s work is crucial to understand the situation and the personal risks they take is hard to overestimate to bring stories out of the warn-torn country”, says Jonathan Lundqvist, President of RSF Sweden.RSF Sweden has awarded an annual Press Freedom Prize since 2003. Previous recipients of the award include Dawit Isaak, Martin Adler, Anna Politkovskaya and Malahat Nasibova.Syria is ranked as number 177 of 180 countries surveyed in Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index, updated as late as last week.Award Ceremony in Stockholm, May 3 2016.The RSF Sweden Press Freedom Price will be awarded to Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden on the World Press Freedom Day, May 3.Sarmad Al Jilane from RBSS will be present to accept the award on the group’s behalf. Journalists Khaled Alesmael, Bitte Hammargren and Hanin Shakrah will be in a panel to discuss recent developments in Syria.Date and time: Wed, May 3, 2016, 5 – 6:30 pmVenue: Kulturhuset Statsteatern, Sergels torg, StockholmContact detailsJonathan LundqvistPresident, RSF [email protected]+46 70 551 21 50 Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime law Help by sharing this information News SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Events RSF PrizeCitizen-journalistsInternet Follow the news on Syria March 8, 2021 Find out more to go further News Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria Organisation News SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Events RSF PrizeCitizen-journalistsInternet Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists February 3, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Knott priest stresses supporting students in faith journeys

first_imgWhen Fr. Dennis Strach found out he would be moving into Knott Hall at the beginning of last semester, he did not know what to expect. The last time he lived in a dorm, Strach was a student himself, and he wasn’t sure how he would approach serving as both a resource and a friend to his students. However, Strach feels the men of Knott quickly and readily accepted him into their community.“It’s been short but it seems like in many ways I’ve known them for a while or the welcome has been such that I’ve been moved by their openness and their willingness to let me accompany them in their time at Notre Dame and in their faith journeys especially,” Strach said.When Strach asked what Knott’s “thing” is, the rector, Pat Kincaid, said the community is rather spiritual. Though he was skeptical at first, Strach said he has found that to be true.“[They ask] good questions trying to find the meat of their faiths, like ‘I don’t want to go to Mass and just have that be like a box to check or something I’m expected to do,’” Strach said. “Why do we go, what is that? How do you pray? Do you just talk to yourself? What is it? Good questions, not doubting their faith but wanting to try to get something out of it and be in relationship with Christ.”One of the benefits of having a priest in residence, Strach said, is being able to see religion in a context other than Mass or in the classroom.“I think to be able to see you as a normal person sort of lends itself to a deeper relationship,” Strach said. “I find that in those moments or the informal gatherings … we realize that we’re on the same journey. We’re in different places, we might have taken different paths, maybe you’re called to the same path, I don’t know but living alongside your students or being able to be an active part of their lives and build an actual relationship with them outside of just Mass or something lends itself to that. … It helps put some flesh on the bones of that statement that we try to like walk alongside our students, not just in your academic endeavors but really just in your normal life. I’m blessed to be in that role.”Strach also serves as the associate director of vocations for the U.S. province of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, and he focuses on high school students who are interested in the priesthood. Strach compared his goals to marketing but with a twist.“You’re not selling a product or recruiting, but rather what you’re selling is the authenticity of your own life and the fact that I’m actually happy and if I could choose anything else, I would choose this again. There’s a lot of people that would,” Strach said.One of the challenges and aims in Strach’s role as both a vocations director and a priest in residence is to break down the stereotypes and misconceptions about life as a priest.“You’re always trying to help people kind of create the space to think about your gifts and talents,” Strach said. “But I think [the role] any priest or brother really plays is probably just the witness of their life, like a married couple: if you’re happy, people say like, whatever you guys got, I want to do that … authentic joy and integrity in your vocation leads people to ask some good questions, but also want what you want.”Accompaniment, or supporting and listening to people on their faith journeys, is a big part of both of Strach’s roles. “The role of a vocations director is really just to kind of create some structure such that people have the space and kind of resources, accompaniment to think about this vocation, have someone to work with to ask their questions and line them up with where they need to be,” Strach said.Strach stressed that priests in residents should be seen as a resource for all students, no matter their religious beliefs or lack thereof.“Hopefully through the witness of so many people on campus and, again, steady presence and being around enough that they know of our care for them, whether it’s explicit conversation or just being at their game or being at their play or their concert … for those people that there might be some barriers to to our communicating or seeing me as a resource, hopefully those will break down,” he said.Tags: Congregation of the Holy Cross, Knott Hall, priest in residencelast_img read more