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Amanda Fisher

Nairobi, Kenya
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About Amanda
Amanda Fisher is an award-winning journalist and photographer based in Nairobi, Kenya. She writes primarily feature articles on a range of topics like women's rights, humanitarian issues and conservation, for a number of publications including Al Jazeera, Thomson Reuters and Middle East Eye, having spent her first freelance year covering the Middle East. Prior to that she worked at a number of national daily newspapers and broadcasters, including the Dominion Post (New Zealand), The Philippine Star (the Philippines), Radio New Zealand (New Zealand) and the Khaleej Times (UAE).

She has an LLB (Otago University) and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism (Massey University).
Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast) Documentaries
Current Affairs Science & Environment Natural Disasters

The world's first albinism pageant took place in Nairobi, trying to promote inclusion of people with albinism and counter the deadly stigma. Words and photos.

27 Oct 2017  |  news.trust.org
The article by Amanda Fisher reports on the first Mr and Miss Albinism Kenya pageant held in Nairobi, aiming to challenge the stigma and persecution faced by people with albinism. The event, attended by Deputy President William Ruto and organized by the Albinism Society of Kenya, featured 20 contestants with albinism. Isaac Mwaura, Kenya's first parliamentarian with albinism and founder of the society, spoke about the discrimination faced by people with albinism, who are often seen as cursed and can be targeted for their body parts in witchcraft. The article highlights the experiences of contestants like Lucianah Nyawira, who faced rejection due to her skin color, and John Ngatia, who expressed his joy at participating. The pageant aims to empower individuals with albinism and change perceptions, with hopes to expand it to a pan-African and global level.

Radio, photograph and text piece on adopting orphans in the UAE.

06 Nov 2015  |  The World from PRX
The article discusses the emerging trend of single professional Emirati women choosing to adopt children, focusing on the story of Ayesha Albusmait, a 49-year-old who adopted her daughter Reem. Albusmait is part of a small but growing number of single women in Dubai adopting children, despite the cultural and religious challenges. In Islam, traditional adoption is considered 'haram,' but fostering children is historically practiced. Albusmait has faced cultural barriers and misunderstandings within her own family but has found support and is now speaking publicly to encourage adoption and change societal perceptions. The article also references Natana Delong-Bas from Boston College, who provides insight into Islamic law regarding adoption.

Taking back the reins: Dubai’s female bikers in control #Women A Yemeni, an Iranian and a British woman explain the pull of the open road on the back of a Harley as part of a new group of convention-defying bikers Photos and text.

03 May 2023  |  Middle East Eye
The article tells the story of Dana Adam*, a Yemeni woman living in Dubai who defies traditional gender roles by riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle. She turned to motorcycling to cope with depression stemming from her husband's infidelity and a sense of isolation. Despite her conservative background, Adam finds solace and empowerment in riding, which she keeps secret from her traditional family. The article also features Shima Mehri, an Iranian woman who pursued her dream of biking in Dubai, and Catherine Hector, a British woman who is an active member of the Ladies of Harley Dubai chapter. The piece highlights the growing number of women in the Middle East who are challenging cultural norms by embracing motorcycling, a traditionally male-dominated activity.

'This is daily life' in Shatila refugee camp Guesthouse gives outsiders a glimpse of what life is like inside an overcrowded Palestinian camp in Beirut. Photos and text.

14 Nov 2016  |  Al Jazeera
The article provides an in-depth look at life inside the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, originally built for 3,000 but now housing up to 22,000 people, including recent Syrian conflict refugees. It highlights the camp's poor living conditions, such as intermittent electricity and undrinkable water. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) reports high unemployment and poverty among Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. The camp, notorious for a massacre 32 years ago, now features a guesthouse run by the Child and Youth Centre (CYC), an NGO. The guesthouse, open since 2003, offers cultural exchange and a glimpse into refugee life for $15 a night. The article includes perspectives from the CYC director and a Danish university student who stayed there, emphasizing the importance of understanding the refugees' plight and the sense of community within the camp.

Adopting orphans and breaking taboos in Dubai With marriage rates falling, some single women in the UAE have begun to adopt children, despite society's reservations. Photos and text.

14 Nov 2016  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the emerging trend of single Emirati women adopting children in the UAE, a country where marriage rates are declining and societal norms traditionally discourage such practices. Aysha Albusmait, a single woman and a professional at the Dubai Sports Council, shares her personal story of adopting a daughter through the Community Development Authority's 'Embrace' adoption program. The article addresses the misconceptions about adoption in Islam, clarifying that the religion encourages caring for orphans but prohibits erasing a child's biological lineage. It also highlights the challenges faced by single women who wish to adopt, the eligibility criteria of the adoption program, and the societal and familial reactions to adoption. The piece further explores the reasons behind the increasing number of single women over 40 seeking to adopt, as well as the scarcity of children available for adoption in the UAE.

Kenya: Boxing for change The Olympic sport is offering an alternative to impoverished kids in Nairobi.

14 Nov 2016  |  Al Jazeera
In Nairobi, Kenya, the Dallas Boys boxing club is providing a lifeline to impoverished children from the slums. Despite limited resources, the club has produced national boxing talent, including Olympians Peter Mungai Warui and Benson Gicharu Njangiru. The club's head coach, Charles Mukula, is dedicated to redirecting street children away from the dangers of inner-city life and towards a disciplined and hopeful future in boxing. The club also supports education for some of its members through community grants and free education programs. The article shares stories of individuals like Robinson Ngira and Veronica Mbithe, who have found refuge and purpose in boxing, and Nicky Ombati, an Olympic hopeful who overcame alcoholism with the help of the club. The Dallas Boys club is not only about boxing but also about creating a sense of community and respect, offering an alternative to the harsh realities of street life.

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