Jassim Al Rumaihi is carrying on a family tradition in media as he prepares to graduate from Northwestern University in Qatar this week, when he will start to work full-time in the Al Jazeera Arabic newsroom.
Al Rumaihi’s father is a retired journalist and media practitioner in Qatar who has passed his love for news and writing on to his son. Al Rumaihi commented, “I have always had an interest in media and the entertainment industry because of my father, and I knew that I wanted to make my career in the field.”
“When Northwestern began offering its media programs in Qatar, I jumped at the opportunity to study there –we had assumed that I would have to travel abroad for the program I was interested in, but now I could receive that same world-class media education within the context of my own culture,” added Al Rumaihi.
Inspired by his father, who wrote for a Qatar-based Arabic sports magazine, Al Rumaihi started pursuing his interest in sports media as a teenager. During high school, he interned at Al Jazeera Sports and after graduating from The Gulf English School, he took a “gap year” to take part in internships at Al Kass TV Channel and Al Sharq Newspaper, where he worked in the sports department.
Al Rumaihi’s interest in the world of media only expanded as a student at Northwestern University in Qatar. “I came to NU-Q focused only on sports reporting, but as I learned more about the industry in class and watched the Arab Spring taking place on TV, I decided to change my focus to reporting on wider regional issues, particularly on the issues that are important to Qatar.”
This realization inspired Al Rumaihi’s award-winning documentary “A Falcon, A Revolution,” which he co-produced as a student at NU-Q, and ultimately led him to accept a job in Al Jazeera Arabic’s coverage planning department.
“At Northwestern, our aim is to prepare young people to succeed in today’s rapidly-evolving global media landscape, and to develop homegrown talent for Qatar’s media industry. Jassim’s work as a student makes us proud, and we are greatly encouraged by his ambitions in the field,” commented Everette Dennis, dean and CEO of Northwestern University in Qatar.
According to Al Rumaihi, the most important skill he developed at NU-Q, in addition to technical skills in filmmaking and digital production, was the ability to express himself confidently and compellingly through any medium.
He plans to continue to develop this ability at Al Jazeera Arabic, where he hopes his career will continue for the long term.
“My father always emphasized the importance of media for our region,” said Al Rumaihi, adding, “Now that I really understand how media can be a powerful tool for change and improvement in society, I cannot wait to be part of the Arab world’s most influential media organization.”
Al Rumaihi is one of several Qatari students who will be receiving their Bachelor of Science degrees in journalism and communication on May 9.