A VJ profile: Ashraf Helmi (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Uploaded by Passion4Journalism on 01.09.2012

Hi, my name is Ashraf and I'll be reporting from Dubai,
in the United Arab Emirates.
This is a place that is modernizing at incredible speed.
Up until 50 years ago, Dubai was just a small coastal trading city.
Now it's one of the leading centers of commerce and industry in the world.
They think on a big scale here: the tallest building,
the most expensive hotel
and the largest man-made islands are all in Dubai.
But under this shiny surface of glass and steel, is a city of contradictions.
Emiratis make up just 20% of the population, and they are struggling
to preserve their national identity.
The rest are mostly expat workers, mainly from south Asia,
who toil away to build the city's futuristic skyline.
Many are duped into paying huge sums of money to get here,
their passports are confiscated by their employers
and living conditions for them are often difficult.
I've been working as a journalist in the Middle East since 2001.
I've reported as a VJ from Egypt, Iran, Jordan and Gaza,
and I truly believe this medium is the future of news gathering.
I'm a British Muslim, born and raised in London,
and I'm interested in the ways Islam and Arab culture
are adapting to this modern globalized world we live in.
And I'm also committed to telling a story as honestly and
as responsibly as I can.
With VJM, I'll do my best to give you, the viewer, an insight into
the many different lives here.
I'll show you the great strides this Arab country has made
in a troubled region.
But I'll also go beneath the surface and show you
the human rights abuses
injustices and discrimination that have occurred to make this city
What it is today.