Portraits from the Front Lines

Rania Abouzeid is a print and television journalist with over 15 years experience in the Middle East. She writes regularly about the history of the region, how it impacts current events and how social and cultural conditions shape today’s news. Born in New Zealand, she grew up in Australia and was schooled there, but is the daughter of Lebanese immigrants and is fluent in Arabic. She traveled to Beirut during its civil war for family vacations. Even in war, there was life in Beirut, a childhood lesson that guides her work. Her awards include the 2015 Michael Kelly Award, the 2014 George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting, and the 2013 Kurt Schork Award in International Journalism. Her documentary, Syria: Behind Rebel Lines, won a Canadian Screen Award. She is currently a class of 2020 Nieman fellow at Harvard University. Her first book, No Turning Back. Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria won the prestigious Overseas Press Club of America’s Cornelius Ryan Award for the best nonfiction book on international affairs, and was a finalist for both the Lionel Gelber Prize and NYPL’s Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism, among other honors, including being selected as a NYT Notable Book of 2018 and a Financial Times’ Best Book of 2018.

Robert Worth is an American journalist and former chief of The New York Times Beirut bureau. He is the author of Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS, which won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Arthur Ross Book Award given by the Council on Foreign Relations. He became a New York Times reporter at the metropolitan desk in 2000 and was the Times correspondent in Baghdad from 2003 to 2006, and their Beirut bureau chief from 2007 until 2011. He regularly contributes to The New York Review of Books and is a two-time finalist for the National Magazine Award. From 2014 to 2015, he was a public policy fellow in the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars while writing Rage for Order. While there, he worked on “The Arab Revolts and their Legacy” project.

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