The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism Program Announces New Student Fellow in the United Arab Emirates

ATLANTA…As part of a partnership with The National media outlet in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), The Carter Center announces a new recipient of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism Program. Omar Al Owais, a contributor to Sail magazine in Dubai and a student at the American University of Sharjah, has been awarded the year-long, non-residential fellowship.

Since 1996, the Center has awarded one-year fellowships to more than 200 journalists, connecting them with resources and experts to increase the quality and accuracy of mental health reporting around the world. The program is currently in the United States, Latin America, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and was previously in New Zealand, South Africa, and Romania.

“These fellows can reshape how media in the Middle East covers one of the most significant, misunderstood public health problems. Like the fellows before them, they will likely impact their colleagues and newsrooms, and become the point person in their field on mental health issues,” said former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

The Carter Center provides training, educational materials, mentorship, evaluation tools, and technical assistance to develop a sustainable and tailored program in the UAE. The National manages the program in the UAE and is responsible for the selection of journalists and the adaptation of the program to meet the needs of the population. Al Owais joins Nick Webster, a second-year Rosalynn Carter fellow who is also a reporter with The National. Webster’s work has focused on pressures social media places on young people, cyberbullying, and the need for better health care support for refugees in Lebanon.

Both fellows will be assisted by a local advisory board in the UAE and experts and mentors in the U.S. They will visit The Carter Center in Atlanta next September, when they will discuss their fellowship work with a community of journalists and mental health experts and attend workshops on behavioral health.

Applications for the 2020-21 UAE cohort of Rosalynn Carter Fellows for Mental Health Journalism will open in February 2020.

Since Rosalynn Carter established the Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism Program in 1996, fellows have produced more than 1500 stories, documentaries, books, and other works during and after their fellowship year. Their projects have garnered Emmy Awards, nominations for the Pulitzer Prize, and other awards.

Contact: Rennie Sloan,


"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.