Biographies: People & Power

People & Power presenter and chief reporter biographies


Samah El-Shahat is the new presenter of People & Power 

An accomplished programme maker, Samah has worked closely with Al Jazeera in the past, most recently on a special film for People & Power called ‘A Bitter Clash’. This 15 minute film exposes the clash dividing rich and poor nations at the WTO, over proposals to reduce industrial tariffs, on a scale never seen before in the history of trade. 

Samah founded Thingybob Productions, a film company, in order to raise awareness of development issues in the South.  

Samah is also a development economist, and has been a consultant to the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian Government, Foundation for International Training (FIT) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). She has also been an economic advisor on SMEs and innovation policy to the governments of Kenya, Egypt, Ghana, Pakistan and Mauritius.  

Samah will obtain her PhD in economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, in 2007.

Juliana Ruhfus

Reporter Juliana Ruhfus has been with Al Jazeera English right from the start in; in fact her report on Liberia’s ex-combatants Army of Discontent launched the channel’s programming section on the first day of broadcast.

Prior to joining Al Jazeera Juliana spent a decade working as a reporter and producer for British and international broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4, ARD (Germany) and NHK (Japan), specialising in international current affairs and documentaries as well as undercover and investigative work.

Juliana has covered many of the world’s under-reported conflicts often gaining unique access to the warring factions and always with a strong focus on the human stories behind the news. Her work on Somalia was the runner-up for the Rory Peck Award in 2002 and her piece on forced sterilisation in Peru was nominated for the Amnesty International Award. In 2005 her documentary When I am Misery I sing, filmed during the violent overthrow of President Aristide in Haiti, was the winner of the Special Jury Award at MusicDoc Fest in Rome.

In 2007 and 2008 Juliana took a seven month sabbatical working as an expert to the United Nations Security Council Sanctions Committee investigating the illegal arms trade into Somalia. Upon her return to Al Jazeera she produced a critically acclaimed five-part special series called Corporations on Trial exposing the growing number of law suits brought against multi-national companies around the world.

As People & Power’s chief reporter Juliana has recently contributed films from post-earthquake Haiti and the conflict-ridden Niger Delta.

In October 2010 she became a recipient of the Dart Center Ochberg Fellowship for coverage of violence and trauma.


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