When he first interviewed for a job in Al Jazeera, Jassim Al-Rumaihi told his interviewer jokingly that his aim was to run the media organisation in 10 years. Little did Jassim or his interviewer know that the joke would turn into a reality and Jassim would become the head of the Al Jazeera Qatar Bureau and a Senior Producer at Al Jazeera Arabic News Channel. He's covered news from all over from Yemen to cover the civil war to Tunisia to cover their parliamentary elections, from Saudi Arabia to cover its war with Yemen to Nepal to cover the massive earthquake of 2014, and beyond, according to NU-Q.
He didn't stop there though. After working with Al Jazeera for six years, Jassim moved to the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in 2016 where he works as their Media Relations Specialist - and is gearing up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup - something he's really looking forward to
Jassim is a 2012 graduate of the Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) and was part of its first graduating class. The transition from an educational institution to a work environment introduced Al Rumaihi to the competitive nature of the real world. According to him, encouragement can be easily found in an educational setting. However, in the workplace, motivation must come from within.
He, initially, started his career as a sports journalist with beIN Sports before he moved to Al Jazeera Arabic.
“The Arab Spring and the uprising of the people in the Arab world, along with the change it created in the Middle East had a tremendous effect on me. I was suddenly a lot more fascinated by the news and understood the power of the voice of the people. It became something I wanted to be more involved in.”
When he was reporting the war between Yemen and Saudia Arabia he received some special training on health and safety, procedures and protocols and personal security measures, along with ways to behave, what to say and what not to say.
As a war correspondent, he has usually travelled as groups of international media, stayed in safe zones and worked with locals who are experts on the area they are trying to cover.
Getting a degree from NU-Q opened up a world of opportunities in media, communication, and beyond for Jassim. Here’s what he has to say about his time at this American University in Qatar.
In 2016, Jassim told a bunch of young and aspiring communications professionals, faculty and staff at the NU-Q's Al Jazeera Speaker Series:
"Before joining NU-Q, I never dreamed I would speak in front of a live audience, let alone work at Al Jazeera as a producer and reporter. However, thanks to the training and support I received at the university, I was skilled enough to apply for an opportunity to work with Al Jazeera. My filmmaking skills and understanding of new media helped me gain the trust of my managers at Al Jazeera."
As a Communications student of NU-Q, Jassim also took some classes in film production and was introduced to the basics of filmmaking, constructing movies, constructing stories and that's what gave him another interesting option on how to tell stories. He didn't stop there and went on to tell three stories in his three documentary films.
1. “A Falcon, A Revolution” (with Rezwan Islam), the short, locally-produced documentary which, in 2011, went on to win third place in the “Most Promising Films” category at the Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival and then the inaugural “Made in Qatar” award category at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF) organised by the Doha Film Institute. The documentary illustrates the contrasting emotions of a Qatar-based Egyptian falcon-trainer who is – melancholically – following the Egyptian revolution, but – cheerfully – describing it through his hobby of training the region’s most prominent bird.
2. "The Palm Tree" won the "Best Documentary" in the "Made in Qatar" category of the 2015 Ajyal Film Festival. This documentary traces the journey of the date palm from seeds being planted in a sterile lab to resplendent trees whose fruits are either eaten raw or processed and packed before being sold, and whose leaves are turned into useful handicraft products.
3. "Amer: The Arabian Legend" that won the 2016 Ajyal Film Festival's "Best Documentary" in the "Made in Qatar" category. The documentary film focuses on a scorned young jockey and his older Arabian horse who overcome mockery, jealousy, and bad luck as they strive for success.
Jassim is committed to working to
“help build the media industry locally to share our stories with the world.” (NU-Q)
Check out his social media page below:
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