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France’s IFFJ plans to establish its first branch in Kuwait

During a recent visit to Kuwait, Secretary-General of the International Federation of Francophone Journalists (IFFJ) and Editor-in-Chief of the Yerevan newspaper, Zara Nazarian, expressed her hope for the organization to establish its first branch in the Gulf region in Kuwait.

Founded in 1950 by two Canadian journalists, the IFFJ is a non-governmental organization. With nearly 50 branches in 50 countries, it stands as the oldest and largest organization of French-speaking journalists worldwide.

In a talk with local media, Ms. Nazarian expanded on the IFFJ and its work, stressing the significance of the two founding principles of the IFFJ —  Freedom of expression and Freedom of the press. She noted that the organization also lends its support to the International Organization of La Francophonie, comprising 88 French-speaking countries.

She added that at present, the IFFJ has 2,000 members who renew their membership annually. The annual membership fee varies by region, ranging from 15 to 50 euros. The IFFJ accepts membership from any professional journalist employed by a media organization and receiving a monthly salary.

The IFFJ also receives funding through a partnership between the public and private sectors, with financial support from organizations such as the United Nations and UNESCO. Major corporations also sponsor the organization’s events and activities.The IFFJ’s periodic meetings serve as significant forums, gathering hundreds of journalists from around the world every two years.

As the first woman to lead the IFFJ in its 74-year history, Ms. Nazarian has played a pivotal role in furthering the cause of the organization. She was first elected in 2018 and re-elected in 2022. She will serve until 2025.

The IFFJ Secretary-General commended the high level of press freedom in Kuwait, highlighting the fortunate working conditions for journalists in the country within a relatively free environment. For his part, Adnan Al-Rashid, President of the Kuwait Journalists Association and Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Al-Anba newspaper, assured Ms. Nazarian that he would engage with the relevant authorities in Kuwait to explore the potential of establishing an IFFJ branch under the association’s umbrella.

Turning to the ongoing crisis in Palestine, Ms. Nazarian mentioned that regarding the IFFJ’s aid to journalists in Gaza, the organization is collaborating with its primary partner, the International Federation of Journalists, to unveil specific outcomes in the upcoming week. She added that the IFFJ and the International Federation of Journalists will introduce a special award for female journalists this year, named in honor of the late Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.



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