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THE MIDDLE EAST Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Laureate, Iranian Activist & Lawyer

An extraordinary woman of many firsts, Iranian lawyer and activist Ebadi has made history as the first Muslim to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous defense of human rights in Iran. One of the most intelligent, passionate, and respected voices within this complex nation, she speaks to the world about democracy and the fundamental rights of all individuals.

Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Foreign Correspondent

A graduate of Harvard Divinity School and a foreign correspondent for nearly two decades, Hedges writes and speaks extensively on war, religion, and the conflict in the Middle East. His bestseller, War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, explores what war does to societies and individuals. His recent book is Death of the Liberal Class.

Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist

Kristof, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, is a human rights advocate who has traveled the world reporting on such issues as global health, poverty, and gender in the developing world. Often called “the reporter’s reporter,” he co-authored, with wife Sheryl WuDunn,* Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. *WuDunn is also available through APB.

Asra Nomani, Journalist & Author

The author of the critically acclaimed Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam, Nomani is a former Wall Street Journal correspondent and friend of reporter Daniel Pearl, who was slain at the hands of Pakistani militants. Her character figures prominently in the film A Mighty Heart, starring Angelina Jolie.

Mariane Pearl, Journalist & Widow of Daniel Pearl

Award-winning journalist Pearl authored A Mighty Heart, the inspiration for the film of the same name starring Angelina Jolie. The book tells the story of her pursuit of those who captured and killed her husband, Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal South Asian bureau chief who had been reporting from Pakistan.

Anthony Shadid, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Middle East Correspondent New York Times Beirut bureau chief Shadid has reported in countries from Egypt and Syria to Israel and Palestine, where he was wounded while covering fighting in the West Bank. In March 2011, he was one of four Times journalists who were held captive in Libya and released five days later. His unique understanding of the Arab culture allows him rare access to—and a great empathy for—the people whose story he tells.

The American Program Bureau | 313 Washington Street, Suite 225 | Newton, MA 02458 | | 617.614.1600


THE MIDDLE EAST Munir Akram, Former Permanent Representative to the UN from Pakistan Following a long and distinguished career as the former Permanent Representative to the UN from Pakistan, Ambassador Akram has since stepped out from behind the diplomatic curtain. He offers his perspective on what the goals of the US should be in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and how they can be obtained.

Jared Cohen, Former Advisor, State Department

Gifted at finding creative solutions to age-old problems—particularly in the realm of technology and foreign policy—Cohen has an inherent understanding of the powerful impact information-sharing technologies can have on today’s world. A former advisor to Secretaries of State Rice and Clinton and current Director of Google Ideas, he is the author of Children of Jihad.

Roya Hakakian, Documentary Filmmaker & Author

Hakakian has collaborated on over a dozen hours of programming for some of the most prestigious journalism units on network television, and has authored two highly acclaimed collections of poetry. Her memoir, Journey from the Land of No, is an account of growing up a Jewish teenager in post-revolutionary Iran.

Parag Khanna, The World’s Leading Geo-Strategist

The world’s leading geo-strategist, Khanna is a respected voice on the future of global affairs. In The Second World, he predicted that Egypt and the Arab world were “ripe for revolution”; in his newest book, How to Run the World, he provides spot-on insights to establishing a stable economic and geopolitical order.

Rami George Khouri, Executive Editor, The Daily Star

As the Editor-at-Large of The Daily Star in Beirut, Lebanon, Khouri reports from ground zero of the conflict as it unfolds. A Palestinian-Jordanian educated in both the Middle East and the US, he is a widely respected international political columnist. He offers current reports and fresh analysis on what is happening beyond “the green zones.”

Stephen Kinzer, Award-Winning Foreign Correspondent Kinzer is an award-winning correspondent who has reported from more than 50 countries on four continents. He is the author of Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America’s Future and Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, an account of the fourteen times the United States has overthrown foreign governments.

The American Program Bureau | 313 Washington Street, Suite 225 | Newton, MA 02458 | | 617.614.1600


THE MIDDLE EAST Azadeh Moaveni, Author & Journalist

Journalist Moaveni has always felt at odds with her tangled identity as an Iranian American. The author of Lipstick Jihad, an intimate exploration of Iran’s dynamic and overwhelmingly young population, and the recent Honeymoon in Tehran: Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran, she also co-wrote with Shirin Ebadi* Iran Awakening: One Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country. *Ebadi is also available through APB.

Jehane Noujaim, Filmmaker & Director of Control Room

A photographer and filmmaker whose career began in her native Cairo, Noujaim is the director of the controversial documentary Control Room, which chronicled the cable news station Al Jazeera and called into question the prevailing images offered up by the US news media about the war in Iraq.

Tom Ricks, Military Correspondent, The Washington Post

Washington Post Pentagon Correspondent Ricks spent five tours of duty in Iraq to get to the nitty-gritty for his New York Times bestseller Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. Also recognized with a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the US military and counterterrorism during his lengthy tenure at The Wall Street Journal, his latest book is The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008.

Josh Rushing, Award-Winning Journalist & Veteran Marine Captain

Rushing has gone from US Marine Corps Captain conducting daily press briefings in Iraq to celebrated military correspondent and analyst for Al Jazeera English to author of Mission Al Jazeera: Build a Bridge, Seek the Truth, Change the World. He delivers news from a unique prism of experience, reporting with an international perspective.

Jehan Sadat, Messenger of Peace

Sadat is the author of A Woman of Egypt, which recounts her notable life as the First Lady of Egypt as well as her marriage to Anwar Sadat, who was assassinated in 1981. She addresses communities worldwide, working to keep her late husband’s legacy alive while promoting his message of peace.

Daniel Silva, Best-Selling Espionage Author A former foreign correspondent on the Middle East for UPI, Silva draws upon contemporary events to create provoking thrillers. He is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Kill Artist, The Mark of the Assassin, and Moscow Rules, and is considered one of America’s greatest spy novelists.

The American Program Bureau | 313 Washington Street, Suite 225 | Newton, MA 02458 | | 617.614.1600


THE MIDDLE EAST Bob Simon, 60 Minutes II Correspondent

An Emmy Award-winning CBS news correspondent, Simon has covered every major armed conflict in the world in the last three decades. He shares firsthand accounts of Lebanon, Serbia, Namibia, and the terrifying forty days he was held hostage in Iraq during the Gulf War.

Edward S. Walker, Former Ambassador to Israel & Egypt

The former President and CEO of the Middle East Institute, Ambassador Walker is an accomplished speaker known for his work on both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict. A consistent advocate for tolerance and peace, he currently holds the Christian A. Johnson Distinguished Professorship in Global Political Theory at Hamilton College.

Bing West, Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly

A correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, West previously served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs during the Reagan Administration. An expert on the Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars—as well as defense, national security, and geopolitical issues—he penned The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq.

Robin Wright, Award-Winning Journalist & Author

An award-winning journalist and author, Wright has reported on a dozen wars and several revolutions, and most recently covered foreign policy for The Washington Post. She is the author of The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran and her most recent, Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East.

James Zogby, Founder & President of the Arab American Institute

Zogby is the founder and president of the Arab American Institute, which serves as the political and policy research arm of the Arab American community. A lecturer and scholar on Middle East issues and US-Arab relations, he is the host of the award-winning Viewpoint with James Zogby.


For all, peaceful empowerment has become the preferred means of making political decisions and producing change. The tiny minority willing to go out and kill has had such impact in part because there have been so few other political ideas and activists in the region offering alternatives. Now, increasingly, there are.

-Robin Wright

The American Program Bureau | 313 Washington Street, Suite 225 | Newton, MA 02458 | | 617.614.1600

Voices on the Middle East  

American Program Bureau’s Voices on the Middle East contains authors, journalists, politicians, and world leaders who speak on issues direct...

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