2020 Jack Shaheen Recepients - ADC

2020 Jack Shaheen Recepients

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) invites you to join us in celebrating the 2020 Jack G. Shaheen Mass Communications Awards recipients and their accomplishments.

The purpose of the awards is to honor Arab-Americans who excel in media studies, including journalism, radio, television, and/or film by rewarding them with a scholarship named after the late Dr. Jack Shaheen.

Dr. Jack Shaheen, internationally recognized American-Arab academic, author, lecturer and media critic, wrote the award-winning book and film, Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People. Dr. Shaheen addressed orientalism and combatted Arab and Muslim racism in western media. He and his wife Bernice established this scholarship so that new generations of students can continue his vision by working to dispel damaging cultural images, offering insights drawn directly from their heritage to bring about positive change.

The recipients of the 2020 Jack G. Shaheen Mass Communications Awards are:

  • Munir M. Atalla – Columbia University
  • Omar Hammad – Rutgers University
  • Marwa Moaz – American University
  • Lauren Sfeir – Whitworth University
  • Michael Zalta – Goldsmiths University of London

Bios of the awardees:

Munir Atalla is a filmmaker and video producer based in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently completing an MFA in Creative Film Production at Columbia University. He most recently worked on PBS’s premier documentary series, FRONTLINE, where he contributed to an investigative 2-hour special report on Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince. Munir has credits on Emmy-nominated segments of NBC’s Dateline, where he worked as an Associate Producer on long-form, investigative video reports. He is a frequent contributor of original video to NBCNews.com where his pieces have gotten over 5 million views.

Omar Hammad is a Ph.D. candidate in the Media Studies doctoral program at Rutgers University. His research examines the intersections of Islam, racial identity, gender, and civic engagement on social network sites. In 2018, Hammad was awarded the top graduate student paper at the New Jersey Communications Conference. That same year he helped to launch the marketing campaign of a Yemeni American charitable organization, Mercy Bakery, which provides rations of bread to the malnourished people of Yemen. This June, Omar won the First-Place Student Paper Award from the Religion and Media Interest Group of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Marwa Moaz has a BA and MA in Sociology and is currently completing a PhD is Communications at American University. She has led ethnographic research in DC, NY, Israel, and Palestine. Her specializations include race, gender, immigration, and religion. Marwa currently works as a Communications Researcher for a market research company in Arlington, VA.

Lauren B. Sfier grew up right in the heart of Beirut, Lebanon until she was about 15. After that, she moved to Sandpoint, ID in America, where she first discovered my love for photography and journalism. Lauren used all my savings to buy herself her first DSLR camera and from there joined her high school publications. Lauren is majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications at Whitworth University in WA. It is her second year serving as the yearbook photo editor and the Communications Specialist for the Dornsife Center for Community Engagement. Lauren’s overall career goal after graduation is to be hired as a communications specialist.

Michael Zalta is a Queer Syrian-American Jewish playwright and Media Researcher pursuing a Masters Degree in Dramaturgy and Writing for Performance at Goldsmiths University in London. In 2019, he completed his undergraduate studies at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where he created a concentration that brought together the fields of Media Studies, Arab Cultural Studies, Playwriting and Human Rights Practice to examine differential forms of (in)visibility and the intangible violence produced by the Israeli occupation of Palestine. As a 2018 NYU Gallatin Global Fellow in Human Rights Practice he served as a research/script-writing intern with Forensic Architecture, assisting with investigations into the Yazidi Genocide in Syria and Iraq as well as Bedouin Land Acquisition the Naqab, Palestine. At Goldsmiths he looks forward to continue writing plays that explore the nuances of Arab-American and Jewish identities, while simultaneously devising an emergent theater methodology that employs the tools of drama and embodied performance to investigate accounts of state violence and human rights abuse.

We wish all the best of luck to our 2020 scholarship recipients! Thank you for being wonderful representations of the Arab-American community.

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