ExpertiseDemocracy and Political Participation
Refugees, Migration, IDPs
Sexual Violence in Conflict
Violence against women
Women Human Rights Defenders
Eyewitness: The fate of Egypt’s female prisoners Middle East Eye Apr 26, 2022
Award-Winning Journalist Solafa Sallam Torn from Seven-Year-Old Son DAWN Oct 3, 2020
A Journalist’s Letter from an Egyptian Prison Global Investigative Journalism Network Mar 3, 2020
Solafa Sallam (@solafasallam) is an Egyptian multimedia reporter, mobile journalism trainer and women human rights defender based in Paris. A former political prisoner, she has been recognized for her courage in prison and facing death threats for doing her work as a journalist.
Solafa received the Courage in Journalism Award 2020 from the International Women’s Media Foundation while she was imprisoned for her journalism work. She and her photojournalist husband were imprisoned for 19 months, released in April 2021, when they were reunited with their son.
In October, 2022, the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy announced her as the 9th Bassem Sabry Democracy Fellow. It said Solafa’s work will focus on women in Egypt’s prisons, centering their lived experiences to shape policy.
She founded Everyday Footage, a non-profit school that trains young women journalists and researchers in mobile reporting, so they can work as a one-person crew.
Her news reports and features have covered the political transition and social unrest in Egypt, minority rights, women’s rights, education, human rights, refugees and sexual harassment in Egyptian society.
In 2019 she was one of 15 journalists from around the world to participate in the United Nations Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalism program to cover the UN General Assembly. She was the only fellow from the Arab world. She received a grant from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to participate in the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Germany in September 2019.
At the UN Solafa was particularly interested in human rights issues, notably freedom of speech and protections for journalists, as well as initiatives to eradicate poverty and to reduce plastic waste. She has addressed organizations at the United Nations, in Egypt, the United States, Belgium, London and Lebanon.
She has worked for many national and international outlets and shoots and produces her own mobile reports for the web. Her work has appeared in Deutsche Welle, TRT World, MadaMasr, Alroeya (UAE) Newspaper, and BBC Egypt.
She managed and supervised her own newsroom with other journalists and cameramen, has led TV crews for international media, and supervised production teams on the ground. She also writes and produces TV documentaries.
She launched a press initiative focusing on the use of social media tools in creating small press platforms to serve as alternative verification media channels and covering events through direct broadcast technology on Facebook.