The 2016 America Abroad Media’s Power of Film Awards

America continues to encourage greater freedom of expression in the Middle East, and many individuals realize that one medium that can be used to accomplish this would be in the power of film. Of course, there has been an intense narrative that only bolsters groups such as the Islamic State in the Middle East. Aaron Lobel is the founder and president of America Abroad Media, and his group continues to work tirelessly in order to promote the free exchange of ideas across the globe.

“I believe that in light of the division and rancor that we’re seeing in our country as well as the challenges of extremism and conflict in large parts of the Middle East, the relevance of AAM’s mission is even clearer,” he said to Diplomatic Pouch.

Honorees
One critically acclaimed series, one organization, three activists and one individual in memoriam were honored at this year’s America Abroad Media’s Power of Film Awards. The event was attended by a number of recognized people such as: Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates Yousef Al Otaiba, CEO and Chairman of Moby Group Saad Mohseni, and U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard G. Olson. Their contributions transcend all boundaries and exhibited the freedom that many journalists in the United States often take for granted. The fact they proudly extolled the virtues of freedom of speech made them truly inspiring honorees indeed.

Homeland
This television show is the first mention of the awards for 2016. Homeland stars Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin and highlights the most critical national security issues highlighting the United States and the rest of the world today.

Nasser Al Qasabi
Al Qasabi is one of the most highly respected television satirists in the Arab world. In 2015, he pioneered an anti-ISIS Ramadan comedy series entitled “Selfie” that won immense praise from proponents of freedom of speech in the Arab world. Moreover, al Qasabi has often subjected himself to numerous death threats simply because of his support of free speech.

TOLO TV
This television channel has distinguished itself for its immensely independent programming within the country of Afghanistan. American Abroad Media has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with TOLO TV since their first partnership in 2007.

Congressman Ed Royce and Congressman Eliot Engel
These two congressmen have worked tirelessly across the aisle to develop international broadcasting. Ed Royce is the current chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Eliot Engel is also a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Engel has led a distinguished career upholding the virtues of freedom of speech for well over two decades.

Steven Sotloff
Steven Sotloff is the “in memoriam” member, and he was a journalist kidnapped by ISIS in 2013. Sotloff’s life was dedicated to the principles of freedom of speech, and he conducted himself bravely while he was in captivity. He was called by his mentor Felice Friedson “one of the most courageous, talented, and insightful journalists that I have ever met.”

Conclusion 
All of these individuals extolled the virtues of America Abroad Media and they are a huge asset to the principles of freedom of the press. With their assistance, the Muslim world will be transformed for the better.

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