The Egyptian candidate for the Foreign Correspondents’ Programme for the year 2013 is Hend Kortam, aged 21. Hend has a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Cairo, and she is considering doing a master’s in the same field - perhaps in the UK. Studies will have to wait, though, because right now Hend is busy working at one of Egypt’s English newspapers, Daily News Egypt.
Hend has been working at the newspaper for about a year. She is one of six full-time journalists at the political department. Their endless task is to report on the political changes taking place in the country.
We are waiting to see what happens, says Hend when describing the atmosphere at the newspaper. Because of the political upheavals, everything is uncertain and one has to be on stand-by the whole time; important speeches might be given at any time, and there are demonstrations almost every day. Still, the hectic nature of the job hasn’t stopped Hend from preparing for her stay in Finland.
When asked, what she is most excited about, Hend immediately replies: the nature. Combining urban building and the preservation of nature is an issue where Egypt still has room for development, Hend believes. When you build a city here, you start by destroying the nature, Hend explains.
A full and varied programme and making new friends and connections are only some of the things that Hend is looking forward to. Getting new perspectives from the Finnish society and press is an important opportunity for Hend, especially amid the changes taking place in Egypt.
Photo: Hend Kortam, text: Eveliina Karhu