The annual Minifie Lecture
CBC journalist Nahlah Ayed spoke on recent work in Crimea
Article: Eman Bare – News Writer
On March 12, the University of Regina School of Journalism hosted its 34th annual Minifie lecture. This year, the featured speaker was Nahlah Ayed, a foreign correspondent for the CBC who is currently based in London.
Her lecture was titled, “A beginning, a middle and an end: Canadian foreign reportage examined.” The talk captivated an audience in an overflowing auditorium. Ms. Ayed is best known for her work in the Middle East, where she covered the Iraq war from its very beginning.
She has spent approximately ten years living in the Middle East as a journalist and has covered stories in print, radio and television for the CBC. Her experience as a foreign correspondent includes her interviewing many key leaders in the Middle East, and reporting on the many conflicts and issues within the region. She was also one of the journalists that covered the Arab Spring from the very its genesis.
During the question and answer portion of the lecture, Ayed was asked how she, as a woman of Palestinian descent, was able to prevent her biases on the region from influencing her stories and how she told them.
Her response was both empowering and inspiring. She said that she chose journalism as a profession to tell the story of others, and not to tell her own.
Indeed, her work speaks for itself. Her coverage on stories has been both fair and balanced. She stated that as a journalist, she makes sure to not report on information that she does not know to be the absolute truth.
Ayed is also the author of A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter’s Journey from Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring. Her book tells her story as a reporter, and begins with her family’s journey from her hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba to a refugee camp in Jordan where her parents moved her and her siblings to be closer to their extended family.
Her journey as a journalist began not in an arts program like most journalists, but in a lab; Ayed completed an undergraduate degree in genetics at the University of Manitoba. She got her start as a journalist at the campus paper at the University of Manitoba, The Manitoban.
She eventually went on to complete a Masters of Journalism from Carleton University as well as a Masters of Interdisciplinary studies from the University of Manitoba.
After completing a Masters in Journalism, Ayed went on to work for the Canadian Press. Her journey as a foreign correspondent began with the Iraq war, where she travelled alone as a freelancer for the CBC.
In fact, as she gave her lecture, she should have been in Crimea covering the protests. But instead, she was in Regina giving a lecture to a group of individuals who were left amazed an inspired by her courage, integrity and experiences as a journalist.