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Our Women on the Ground: Reporting from the Arab World

Part of London Literature Festival

Journalists Roula Khalaf, Hind Hassan and Heba Shibani reflect on their formidable careers reporting from changing homelands in conversation with Zahra Hankir.

A first-of-its-kind collection, Our Women on the Ground: Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World brings together the voices of 19 Arab and Middle Eastern sahafiyat – female journalists.

These women have worked tirelessly to report nuanced narratives of regions of the world which are often misunderstood.

Hear from three of the collection’s contributors as they discuss their varied and extraordinary experiences reporting from the Arab world, including covering the Arab Spring and the front lines of war, navigating identity and heritage when the personal becomes political, and grappling with the realities of being women in their field.

Roula Khalaf is an award-winning journalist and the deputy editor of the Financial Times.

She previously served as their foreign editor after more than a decade as Middle East editor, during which time she oversaw the launch of the Middle East edition and led coverage of the financial crisis in the Gulf and, later, the Arab Spring.

Her series on Qatar won the Foreign Press Association’s Feature Story of the Year in 2013. She was named Foreign Commentator of the Year at the Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards in 2016.

Hind Hassan is a correspondent for news show Vice News Tonight, covering news in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Since joining the programme, she has reported on a wide range of global issues, from the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and the battle against ISIS to the rise of populism in Eastern Europe.

Hassan was part of the Vice News Tonight teams that won a Gracie Award for best news programme in 2018. She was previously a reporter at Sky News and a producer at Al Jazeera English during the Arab Spring.

Heba Shibani is a Libyan journalist and news producer. She has held positions at a number of Libyan and international media outlets, including Reuters, Libya TV, Alassema TV, and Alnabaa News TV.

She has also worked as an international correspondent for Libya’s Channel in the EU. The civil war in Tripoli forced Shibani to flee Libya along with her family, in part due to her coverage of the conflict. Shibani currently resides in Malta, where she works as a media producer.

Editor of Our Women on the Ground, Zahra Hankir is a Lebanese British journalist. Her writing and journalism have appeared on BBC News, Bloomberg News, Vice and Al Jazeera English, and in Roads & Kingdoms and Literary Hub, among other media outlets.

She was awarded a Jack R. Howard Fellowship in International Journalism to attend the Columbia Journalism School and holds degrees in politics and Middle Eastern studies from the American University of Beirut and the University of Manchester.

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Royal Festival Hall
Level 5 Function Room, Green Side


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For ages 16+

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