As a journalist with well over fifteen years experience in the Middle East, I know the history of the region, how it impacts current events and how social and cultural conditions shape today’s news.
Born in New Zealand, I grew up in Australia and was schooled there, but I am the daughter of Lebanese immigrants. I traveled to Beirut during its civil war for family vacations. Even in war, there was life in Beirut, a childhood lesson that guides my work.
I am a print and television journalist, fluent in Arabic. I’ve been honored with half a dozen awards including the 2015 Michael Kelly Award, the 2014 George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting, and the 2013 Kurt Schork Award in International Journalism. My first documentary, Syria: Behind Rebel Lines, won a Canadian Screen Award. Shortlisted for at least a dozen other international accolades, including thrice a finalist for the Bayeux-Calvados Award for War Correspondents and twice for the One World Media International Journalist of the Year, I have received fellowships from the European Council on Foreign Relations, New America, and the Ochberg at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. I have been invited to writing residencies at Yaddo and the Carey Institute’s non-fiction program, both in New York, to work on my first book, No Turning Back. Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria.
I have written for TIME, the New Yorker, Foreign Affairs, National Geographic, Foreign Policy, Politico, The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, The Australian, CSM, and a host of other publications, and have appeared on France 24, BBC, CBC, CBS, PBS, Al-Jazeera and Channel 4 to name a few television and radio outlets. I have given talks and participated in panel discussions at Princeton, New America, John Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies, Harvard University and many other institutions in the US and Europe.