Arwa Damon is a senior international correspondent based in CNN's Istanbul bureau. A recipient of the International Women's Media Foundation's 2014 Courage in Journalism Award, Damon is one of the network's Middle East specialists.

    Her coverage has latterly focused on the fierce fighting in Iraq between militant Islamist group ISIS and the Iraqi national army and associated Shia militia groups. Her reporting has proven essential, guiding viewers through the complexities of the bloody and still-developing conflict.

    Damon has also covered extensively the bloody civil war in Syria and the deepening humanitarian crisis which has spread across the region in its wake. Her reports have focused on -- amongst other subjects - the effect of devastating 'barrel bombs' air raids on the civilian population of Aleppo and moves by Turkish security forces to reinforce the country's historically porous border with Syria.

    After Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 Nigerian girls from a school in Chibok in April 2014, Damon travelled to West Africa -- including the islands of Lake Chad -- as the hunt for the Islamist militant group intensified. This enterprise storytelling contributed to CNN's 2015 Peabody Award, which recognized Damon's "high-risk field reporting" that made the network's coverage of this story "comprehensive and indispensable."

    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.

    Following the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi in 2012, Damon was one of the first journalists to arrive at the scene, recovering from the ruins of the building the personal diary of slain Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Damon received the "Investigative Reporters and Journalists" award for her in-depth reporting on the attack and its aftermath.

    Before moving to Istanbul, Damon was based at CNN's Beirut bureau and was part of the network's team covering the Arab Spring. For her work reporting on the popular uprisings in Egypt and Libya, Damon was awarded 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".

    Damon has also focused on environmental issues and 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 began her career at CNN in the network's Baghdad bureau. She was based in Iraq from 2003-2010, covering a number of landmark stories from Iraq including the deadly battle for Fallujah, the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein and the country's first national elections following the toppling of the Ba'ath regime.

    Before joining CNN, Damon spent three years covering Iraq and the Middle East as a freelance producer for various news organizations 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.

    Damon has recently launched a non-profit organization, The International Network for Aid, Relief, and Assistance based on her personal experience in war zones and war-torn nations. INARA focuses on building a network of logistical support and medical care to help children who have fallen through the cracks and need lifesaving or life altering medical treatment.