Friday, November 03, 2006

Al Jazeera Satellite Network has unveild “The Wall of Freedom” Memorial dedicated to honor journalists and crew from across the world who have been killed while working in the field. The 55 foot tall Memorial was unveiled at Al Jazeera’s 10th Anniversary on November 1st, 2006. The Memorial is an ongoing recognition of the dangerous work that many journalists are required to do as part of their profession. Journalists today are placed in hazardous situations either as a consequence of covering wars or giving voice to opinions that are condemned by political regimes. As a result many of the journalists and crew on the Memorial were killed in war situations or by political assassination for their views. A number of the cases of those killed are still open with either little or no investigation into the circumstances and reasons for their deaths.

Over 630 names are etched on the memorial which was designed by the artist Mahmud Al Obaidi an Iraqi-Canadian artist who has exhibited his work in many parts of the world including Tunisia, India, New York, and France. “I chose the wall as a form because it shows meaning more than any other form. The wall is black which is a sacred color - it is a symbol of steadfastness. The boxes on the wall are windows to immortalize the world’s journalists and crew who died as heroes.”

Director General of the Al Jazeera Network, Wadah Khanfar, stated, “We want to recognize the courage and valor shown by journalists and their crews across the world, those who have sacrificed their lives. Reporting the news has become extremely unsafe in many parts of the world and more needs to be done to assure protection for journalists and for the freedom of expression. This Memorial was built to remind the world of the heavy cost of telling the truth. We wanted to honor those who have sacrificed their lives for their profession and we hope that one day we can see an end to the killing.”

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