LONDON: Rima Maktabi was awarded the inaugural 2018 Communication Arts Alumni Award last week by the Lebanese American University.
Maktabi, the UK bureau chief at Al-Arabiya News Channel, was chosen for the award in line with selection criteria that gave weight to innovation and women’s empowerment, according to Chairperson of the Communication Arts Department Jad Melki.
The award was presented at an event at Gulbenkian Theatre on Friday, at the conclusion of LAU’s Festival Next, a colorful week of workshops, performances, screenings, and competitions.
“I am proud to belong to this university and its student body,” said Maktabi, who shared valuable advice during her address to students, especially to aspiring female journalists.
“Do not be fooled by sparkling images of women on screen — women in journalism face a long, bumpy road,” she declared, pointing out that despite the massive spread of social media, the same journalistic guiding principles apply: “Accuracy, knowledge and truth are at the core, everything else is just an addition.”
Maktabi began her career as a game show host and weather presenter with Lebanon’s Future TV. She moved into news presenting in 2005 with Al-Arabiya, coming to international prominence in the following year when she covered the 2006 Lebanon war. She moved to CNN in 2010 to present the network’s “Inside the Middle East” program, returning to Al-Arabiya in 2012.
“Rima is a brave journalist — not just at the frontlines of the numerous wars she has reported on, but also across the table from the world leaders she has interviewed,” said Assistant Professor Claudia Kozman, who was also the MC at Friday’s event.
Abdallah Al-Khal, assistant vice president for alumni relations at LAU, joined Melki in presenting the award to Maktabi. After the presentation, the closing ceremony featured a spectacular performance by musical group Fere’et Aa Nota.