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Media Profiles

Profiles of journalists in the Middle east

Ekram Alzou’bi - Jordan Media Institute

Edwina Toohey

Ekram Alzou'bi. Photograph by Edwina Toohey

Ekram Alzou'bi. Photograph by Edwina Toohey

Ekram Alzou’bi was told she was too pretty to work as a translator.

When she turned up at Jordan TV for an interview she was told “translation has people who just can put text on Google Translate but you can work here, and immediately after that I was on the air,” she says.

Since 1997 Alzou’bi has produced and presented many of Jordan TV’s cultural and political programs as well as its morning show.

She regards her work as a print journalist as her most important role.

She wrote a column every week in the daily Jordanian newspaper, the Alrai.

“The best experience I had was being a writer. I started writing every week but I was lazy and I was busy with my family. So I had to quit for 5 years just to take care of my kids.”

The decision was difficult for Alzou’bi because by then she had a public profile. However, “the best websites in Jordan used to take my articles and republish them. It was a great thing for me.”

Alzou’bi is popular with Jordanians, in part because of the way she speaks.

“The Jordanian accent, is quite lost in Jordan,” she says. With “so many refugees coming to Amman forming this mutual dialect. They call it the white language, the language that absorbs all dialects and languages together and makes them just like one language or one dialect. I used that pure Jordanian dialect and I’m very proud of people telling me that all the time.”

Alzou’bi is studying for her Masters at the Jordan Media Institute. After graduating, she will join her husband, the Jordanian Ambassador in Iran, until he finishes his term.

“An Arabic woman is always connected to her husband,” she says.

She plans to make films about the aspects of life in Iran to show the difference between the media’s portrayal and reality.

“I want to show how life goes there and I want to show the art and the magic of the East.

If we come back to Jordan, I would love to go back to my work at Jordan TV. It’s my home; it’s where I belong.

People in Jordan they need to make programs about the aspects of their lives, the way they live, the way they think, the way they speak, the way they believe in things.”