French magazine Telerama commissioned me to spend a few hours in Qatar to document the inner workings of the Al Jazeera Newsrooms. Additionally, they asked that I photograph "the museum" located at the entrance of Al Jazeera's lobby.
Here, I was told, one would find relics from journalists who had faced imprisonment and other challenges while reporting on world issues. In fact, the vest worn by Tareq Ayoub during his moment of death and the last report he drafted as a journalist were hauntingly displayed. Mr. Ayoub was killed in Baghdad during a U.S. missile strike.
Equally moving were the artifacts, encased in glass, of journalist and current Head of the Public Liberties and Human Rights Section at Al Jazeera, Sami Al Haaj. Mr. Haaj's clothing worn while imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay were juxtaposed with love letters of reassurance to his wife and son. Mr. Haaj was held as a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay for over six years and eventually released without any charges or trial.
My time at Al Jazeera headquarters was extremely short but it was interesting to see where this relatively new player in the realm of broadcast journalism was founded. With their recent ability to provide in depth coverage of the uprising in Egypt while other well established networks failed, there appears to be a new kid on the block.
Below are some of the images from the shoot as well as how it ran in Telerama. For those of you who can read French - the article can be seen here.
Sami Al Haaj today at Al Jazeera
Sami Al Haaj prior to his imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay.