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31 Jul, 2018 01:49

Honors for best war zone reportage at first-ever Khaled Alkhateb Memorial Awards in Moscow

The winners of RT's special award for best reporting from a war zone, set up in memory of RT Arabic contributor Khaled Alkhateb, were announced on Monday, marking one year since the journalist was killed in terrorist shelling.

A freelance journalist with RT’s Arabic service, Khaled Alkhateb was conducting an interview on July 30, 2017, on the frontline in the Syrian province of Homs, when he and his interviewee were both struck by a mortar shell launched by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militants.

Paying tribute to Alkhateb, RT set up this international award in his honor, with journalists from over 20 countries submitting their work in more than 10 languages to the jury who adjudicate in three categories.

Three winners, from Iraq, Singapore and Ireland, were picked from dozens of applications on Monday. Anna Karenina Tolentino (Singapore) received the award for her report "Get Real - Escape from Marawi," about the liberation of the Philippines city of Marawi from ISIS-linked terrorists. The video was recognized in the "Best Video Journalism from a Conflict Zone: Long Form" category.

Asaad Al-Zalzali from Iraq won in the "Short Form Video" category with his report "ISIS Children," which offers a glimpse into the lives and controversies surrounding the families of ISIS militants who fled or perished after the terrorists' defeat.

Irish journalist Jason O'Brien was recognized for his special report from Syria, telling about the struggles of locals in the war-ravaged country as life there is gradually returning to normal.

The award ceremony, which began with a minute’s silence, saw the mother of Khaled, Lydia Alkhateb, receiving a memorial award dedicated to her son. Alkhateb was also posthumously awarded a medal "For Courage" by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a state decoration that was received on stage by his father, Gasan Alkhateb.

RT has created a documentary dedicated to Khaled's work in Syria, in which fellow members of the RT Arabic crew and those who knew Khaled speak of his passion for life and reporting.