Touria Ahayan, Managing Editor of SBS Dutch News Channel

She’s now one of the few journalists from Morocco who are active in the Dutch media. Touria Ahayan, managing editor within the SBS, one of the major television networks in the Netherlands, is to be admired for having a 20 -year long career and making it into the closed world of Dutch media.

Coming to the Netherlands at the age of six in the process of family reunification, Ms. Ahayan , slowly but surely, climbed the ladders of the Dutch channel after being recruited at the age of 23, following journalism studies at the renowned institute of higher education HBO and internships in the public channels NOS and RTL.

She recalls in an interview with MAP news agency, her first steps as an immigrant Moroccan journalist, but very determined, she was set to conquer new challenges in a world where performance, efficiency but especially patience, are the key words.

And as she has understood from the beginning that journalism is primarily an affair of enthusiasts, the young rookie has completely devoted herself to a single goal: Making a name for herself

"When I started out, my first concern was to be successful as much as my Dutch colleagues, I firmly believed in that," tells this reporter, a native of Tetuan, whose personality exudes simplicity, modesty and sympathy.

“As a Journalist, I always liked to meet people and tell their stories, I worked outside my working hours and I never failed to take on new initiatives," recalls Touria who reveals she never felt discriminated against.

According to her, performance, personality and work quality are what matter. The origin doesn’t. Touria has always wanted to be considered as a versatile journalist and not an immigration specialist, because of her immigrant origins.

She regretted that journalists of immigrant descent including Moroccans are increasingly rare in the Dutch media. "It is up to us journalists of immigrant origin, bolstered by our experiences and our education, to contribute to clear misunderstandings about Moroccans, Islam and immigrants in general," said Touria Ahayan.

A newsroom should reflect the diversity of society, provided that the journalist shows competence and motivation, this is the conviction that prevails within the SBS, has insisted the Moroccan journalist, who doesn’t know why Moroccan students do not choose journalism

.

Furthermore, Touria Ahayan claims to not understand the "phobia" that some Moroccans in the Netherlands have of speaking to the media, as it is the only way to debunk the misconceptions in society and the Dutch press.

"In the media, there certainly is an editorial handling, but not all journalists are manipulators," said Touria who prides herself on having the chance to work alongside very attentive and open colleagues.

Asked about the situation of Moroccan women in the Netherlands, Ahayan did not fail to highlight the major advances made in recent years by her compatriots, which are now determined to study, work and integrate into the Dutch society despite the persistence of certain stereotypes.

Just as she was impressed by the dynamism of the Moroccan woman who has made undeniable achievements and improved her situation by tackling positions in different areas and fighting against domestic violence and gender equality,” much remains to be done for Moroccan women to reach their rightful place in society, here and there”.

This article was published in French by MAP news agency

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