Fortify Rights Wins Anthem Award for Rohingya Photography Project

Virtual awards show hosted by actor Jay Ellis on Monday

(BANGKOK, February 26, 2022) – Fortify Rights and Doha Debates have won a top Anthem Award for training and supporting Rohingya refugee photographers in Bangladesh, Fortify Rights said today. The project will receive the Silver Award in the ‘Best Local Community Involvement’ category at an awards show to be broadcast live on Monday, hosted by TV and film actor Jay Ellis.

“The Rohingya and all people in Myanmar are going through their darkest hour under attack from a brutal military junta, which makes it even more important to shine a light on the positive forces of change within the community,” said Matthew Smith, CEO of Fortify Rights. “There has never been a more important time to strengthen support for refugees, and we hope this award can help us do more.”

Fortify Rights Senior Multimedia Specialist, Taimoor Sobhan, will accept the award on behalf of Fortify Rights and the Doha Debates during the virtual awards show which will be streamed live on February 28 at 1:00 p.m. PT on

The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences has created the Anthem Awards as a new initiative of the Webby Awards to celebrate “the purpose and mission-driven work of people, companies and organizations around the world”. A panel of judges, including actors Daniel Dae Kim and Ashley Judd as well as prominent business and organizational leaders, selected the winners from nearly 2,500 submissions from 36 countries.

Since 2018, in partnership with Doha Debates, Fortify Rights has provided hands-on photography and media training for three young Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, survivors of the genocide in Myanmar. The organization equipped the three “media companions” – Dil Kayas, Omal Khair and Azimul Hasson – with mobile phones, which Myanmar authorities have banned them from possessing in their home state of Rakhine. They have since documented their life in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps on Instagram, garnering thousands of followers. The project won a Shorty Award in 2020 and was a finalist for a 2019 Shorty Award.

The 23-minute documentary film, EXODUS, produced by Fortify Rights and Doha Debates and directed by Fortify Rights Senior Multimedia Specialist Taimoor Sobhan, delves into the lives of media colleagues as they survive the Rohingya genocide.

Other Anthem Award winners this year include Dr. Jane Goodall “for her lifetime of passionate advocacy for the conservation of the natural world”; American director, producer, screenwriter and actor Adam McKay “for holding up a mirror to society through his work”; and Japanese professional tennis star Naomi Osaka
for winning her third Grand Slam title while sparking a conversation about mental health, racial injustice and police brutality.

The full list of anthem winners is available at, and you can follow the work of Rohingya Media Fellows on Instagram: @azimulhass, @dilkayas and @omalkha.

© Scoop Media

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