Qatars Al Jazeera marks 15 years of broadcasting

Arabic news channel saw director-general Wadah Khanfar step down in September after eight years
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Doha-based Arabic news channel Al Jazeera is celebrating its 15th anniversary, marking a decade and a half of proactive news gathering from the region. Above: The new director-of the channel, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassem al-Thani, speaks during the ceremony. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Based in Qatar, Jazeera is regarded as the first politically independent television station in the Middle East. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Tunisian mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi is presented with an award at the ceremony. At the end of last year, Bouazizi died after setting himself on fire in protest of the confiscation of his wares. His act became a catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and the wider Arab Spring. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Despite some crticism, Al Jazeera has surpassed BBC viewing figures and won awards for its coverages of the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. (AFP/Getty Images)
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During the ceremony, the new director also honours Yemeni Nobel Prize Winner Tawakkul Karman. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Thanks to her efforts to promote human rights during the recent social unrest in Yemen, Karman became the first Arab and the first Yemeni woman to win the nobel peace prize. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Al Jazeera has its sights set on further expansion during 2012, preparing to open a new channel in the Balkans, Turkey and Pakistan, in addition to its Al Jazeera English, documentary, sports and children’s channels. (AFP/Getty Images)