AMMAN — Syria Direct and a Syrian civil society organization have been awarded first prize in Free Press Unlimited’s Syria Co-Production Fund 2021.
Among nine partnerships, representing Syrians from all areas of the country and in the diaspora, and covering a diversity of topics related to Rehabilitation and Rebuilding, Syria Direct’s Senior Arabic Editor Ammar Hamou and reporter Hassan Kassab, in partnership with a local organization that asked to remain anonymous, have won first prize for their report, photo story and video on the reconstruction of the bridges of Raqqa.
The award-winning report, photo story and video were published in Arabic and English in May. They uncover the humanitarian crisis resulting from the delay in the much-needed reconstruction and rehabilitation of Raqqa’s bridges that constitute a “lifeline” for the province’s residents.
Raqqa province contains 134 bridges and crossings, including the Euphrates and Baath (Kadiran) Dams. Some 66 of these were entirely or partially destroyed by international coalition bombings or ISIS attacks.
Four years since ISIS was expelled from the region, 90 percent of the destroyed bridges and crossings in Raqqa province have been repaired, either officially or temporarily on an ad hoc basis. However, the most vital bridges for residents remain out of commission.
Founded in 2011 and based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Free Press Unlimited’s aim is to create “a diverse, professional information landscape consisting of independent media and journalists that drive (social) change in their society.” The Syria Co-Production Fund project was launched in 2018 with the aim of bringing Syrian media outlets and civil society organizations together to produce quality reporting.