Najwa Qassem, a star television presenter on Arabic news channels Al Arabiya and Al Hadath, passed away Thursday morning at her home in Dubai.
Qassem, 51, was known for her news reporting from the Middle East, particularly the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Colleagues at Al Arabiya expressed shock at her sudden demise. She had been a recognized news anchor across the Arab region throughout her 16 year career at the news channel.
“A great and sad shock we received at the beginning of the new year ... May God have mercy on you, Najwa,” said Rima Najjar, Al Arabiya business presenter, on Twitter.
Among her accolades were an award for Best Female Presenter at the Arab Media Festival in 2006, and being nominated by local news magazine Arabian Business as one of the 100 Most Powerful Arab Women in 2011.
Condolences and messages of support soon began to appear on social media following the announcement of her death.
“Farewell, Dear Professor Najwa Qassem ... Farewell, our lady of ethics, literature, professionalism and professionalism ... Farewell, everyone’s friend ... May God have mercy on you,” said Turki Aldakhil, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador the UAE and the former general manager of Al Arabiya.
Al Arabiya issued a statement that read: “Al Arabiya and Al Arabiya Al Hadath mourn our colleague Najwa Qassem, recalling her long journalistic journey which started with the launch of Al Arabiya in 2003 as a broadcaster and field reporter.”
“May God have mercy on our colleague … and give her family patience and solace.”