Nahlah Ayed headshot in front of globe

Nahlah Ayed is an award-winning journalist with over 20 years’ experience working as an international correspondent. She has lived in Beirut, Cairo, Baghdad and Amman and reported worldwide, including from Austria, Serbia, Germany, Hungary and France.

Her work has allowed Ayed to witness monumental world events up-close and in-person. She was on the ground during several Middle Eastern conflicts, including the Iraq War and the Arab Spring. Additionally, Ayed has covered the refugee and migrant crises and reported on Brexit and Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

“If you want to understand a region, nothing can replace the day in, day out living, breathing experience,” Ayed explains. “I shopped in the market, cut my hair at the local salon and worked out at the gym.”

She credits the skills she acquired in her master’s program at Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communication as supporting her throughout her career. She earned her Master of Journalism in 1997.

“Everything I learned there was applicable. It was an immersive experience of dreaming, thinking, writing and examining,” recalls Ayed. “The anecdotes we heard from the professors and (guest speakers) made us want to do this.”

Often now asked to be a guest speaker herself, Ayed notes that the hardest experiences during her foreign correspondence were those where she escaped relatively unscathed, such as when she was attacked while reporting at a shrine in Baghdad or when her apartment was destroyed in a bombing in Beirut. Throughout these conflicts, she was struck that “the birds still sang. The sun still came up.”

Now, Ayed is the producer and host of Ideas, a nightly CBC Radio program with a 50-year history that produces groundbreaking documentaries on contemporary issues. At Ideas, Ayed has the freedom to dig deeper into the ‘whys’ of the critical issues of our time.

Whether reporting from abroad or here in Canada, Ayed believes strongly in the importance and relevance of journalism.

“There will always be a demand for smart people out there telling good stories, because people want to hear them. They want to understand the world around them.”


Friday, January 5, 2024 in , ,
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