Anchors & Reporters
Arwa Damon

Arwa Damon is CNN's Beirut correspondent covering stories from Lebanon and the surrounding region, with particular emphasis on the continuing unrest in Syria. She is an award-winning journalist and also one of the network's Iraq specialists.

Damon has covered extensively the bloody conflict in Syria as well as the deepening humanitarian crisis which has spread across the region. Some of her recent reports from the country have focused on the effect of devastating ‘barrel bomb’ air raids on the civilian population of Aleppo and the militant Islamic separatist group ISIS, who have established a repressive Sharia state on the northern border with Iraq.

In 2013 Damon travelled to the Odzala National Park in Congo where she filmed the documentary ‘Arwa Damon Investigates Ivory War’, following an elite team of rangers as they track the poachers who kill thousands of endangered elephants each year.

In April and October 2012, Damon was part of a team winning multiple awards for their coverage of the Arab Spring. She won an Emmy for Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story, as well as a Peabody Award for “CNN’s reporting of the Arab Spring including Worldwide Coverage: Egypt –Wave of Discontent and Uprising in Libya”.

In 2011, she reported from Cairo on the Egyptian uprising against President Mubarak and from Libya on the protests against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Prior to moving to Beirut, Damon was based in Jakarta.

While there Damon reported on Indonesia’s parliamentary elections and measures to prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu virus. She also visited the forests of central Indonesia for the special documentary 'Sumatra: Paradise Lost?' to uncover issues including deforestation and the threats of extinction that man species face.

Damon also covered the 2010 Iraq elections, the Red Shirt anti-government protests held in Thailand in 2010 and the Philippine elections, for which she interviewed President Benigno Aquino after his victory.

She looked at the state of Iraq as the US moved from operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn, in a half-hour special in August 2010 and reported from Lebanon in October of the same year, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his first state visit to the country.

Prior to Jakarta, Damon was based in Baghdad and reported on landmark stories including the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein and two of his co-defendants, the Iraq elections and Iraq’s Constitutional Referendum vote. Notably she covered the story of Youssif, a five-year-old Iraqi boy horribly burnt in a brutal and deliberate attack. Her report drew one of the biggest responses to a non-breaking news story in the history of CNN.com that, through the network's 'Impact Your World' initiative, allowed him to receive medical treatment in the United States. More recently, she was back to report for the powerful documentary “lnside Iraq: Living with the enemy” that looked at an Iraq traumatized by its recent history, seeking to understand the horrors of what millions lived through and putting names to the nameless victims.

Damon was also the first television reporter allowed inside the Khamiya women’s prison and reported on the desperate situation of the women behind bars. Her exclusive coverage included the offensive to win back Baghdad’s notorious Haifa Street from Sunni extremists, while she also chronicled the U.S. Army's battle in Najaf against the Mehdi Army and the battles to retake Samarra and Fallujah.

Before joining CNN Damon spent three years covering Iraq and the Middle East as a freelance producer for various news organisations including Feature Story News (PBS) and CNN.

Damon graduated with honors from Skidmore College in New York with a double major in French and Biology and a minor in International affairs. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts but spent most of her childhood in Morocco and Turkey. She is fluent in Arabic, French and Turkish.

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@arwaCNN

 

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