Zeina Awad

International Journalist and former UN investigator


Zeina Awad is an international journalist, a former investigator, and a public speaker. She is a correspondent for TRT World, a new English language news television station based in Istanbul and set to launch in 2016. Prior to TRT World, Zeina served on a panel of independent experts appointed by the UN Secretary General and tasked with investigating sanctions violations in Somalia, Eritrea, and the Horn of Africa. She has worked on some of the most important issues in the region connected to global security and geopolitics including weapons trade, human smuggling, and support for armed groups in the Horn of Africa.

Before joining the UN’s Department of Political Affairs, Zeina was a correspondent with Al Jazeera English. She reported from 12 countries for the channel and covered top news stories in the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas, including the 2009 war on Gaza (for which the channel earned an Emmy nomination in the news category), sectarian violence in Lebanon, Sudan’s peace process, the 2012 election in the US, the US-led war on drugs in Central America, and the plights of Iraqi, Zimbabwean and Sahrawi refugees. The Huffington Post called her investigative film into abortion in the US “the best new piece of journalism and documentary film making about this issue [and] journalism as it was meant to be”. Her investigation into pharmaceutical clinical trials in India has been shortlisted for the 2012 NIHCM Award for excellence in journalism.

Zeina is also a public speaker and a guest lecturer. She has moderated numerous panels and has been invited to speak at Georgetown University, the American University in Washington DC, the London School of Economics, and the University of Michigan-Flint. Topics include media and politics, journalism in the US, gender and citizenship in the Middle East, and the post-revolutionary Arab world.

She’s a contributor to “No Woman’s Land: On the Frontiers with Female Reporters” the first anthology book to be published on the risks facing female journalists in the field.

Zeina holds a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics and a BA from McGill University.

BASED IN: Istanbul, Turkey

LANGUAGES: English, Arabic (non-classical dialect) and French.

On the frontline with female journalists


The Kindness of Strangers, TRT– video

Ustaz Hallak Teacher of Refugees, TRT – video