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Penguin: Adult Hardcover & Trade Paperback Summer 2019

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Our Women on the Ground
Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World
Edited by: Zahra Hankir Foreword by: Christiane Amanpour
9780143133414 Paperback, Trade English General Trade SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies Aug 06, 2019
$23.00 CAD
Active 5.1 x 7.79 x 0.75 in 304 pages 11 B&W PHOTOS THROUGHOUT Penguin Books
19 Arab women journalists speak out about what it’s like to report on their changing homelands in this first-of-its-kind essay collection, with a foreword by CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour

A growing number of intrepid Arab and Middle Eastern sahafiyat—female journalists—are working tirelessly to shape nuanced narratives about their changing homelands, often risking their lives on the front lines of war. From sexual harassment on the streets of Cairo to the difficulty of traveling without a male relative in Yemen, their challenges are unique—as are their advantages, such as being able to speak candidly with other women at a Syrian medical clinic or attend an exclusive beauty contest for sheep in Saudi Arabia.

In Our Women on the Ground, nineteen of these women tell us, in their own words, about what it’s like to report on conflicts that (quite literally) hit close to home. Their daring and heartfelt stories, told here for the first time, shatter stereotypes about the region’s women and provide an urgently needed perspective on a part of the world that is frequently misunderstood.

Story Locale: Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen

FOREWORD BY CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN Chief International Correspondent and host of Amanpour

FIRST-PERSON ACCOUNTS: Most books about Arab women and the Arab world are reported from an outsider’s perspective. Here, we get to hear from Arab women themselves, who prove that they’re not the silent, oppressed women they’re often made out to be with intimate, personal essays that range from heartbreaking to darkly funny.


WELL-CONNECTED CONTRIBUTORS who write for publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Vice, BuzzFeed, Bloomberg, and NPR, and who are telling their own stories for the first time.

NECESSARY READING in the age of the Muslim ban

CRASH COURSE ON DECADES OF ARAB POLITICAL HISTORY, from the Syrian refugee crisis to the Iraqi war. These essays are packed with inside stories and vivid details from the authors’ impressive careers, making them an accessible and fascinating way to learn more about the region.

Zahra Hankir is a Lebanese-British journalist who writes about the intersection of politics, culture and society in the broader Middle East. Her work has appeared in publications including Bloomberg, BBC News, Al Jazeera English, Businessweek, Roads & Kingdoms, and Literary Hub. She was awarded a a Jack R. Howard Fellowship in International Journalism to attend the Columbia School of Journalism and holds degrees in Politics and Middle Eastern Studies. Christiane Amanpour is CNN’s chief international anchor and the host of Amanpour, the network’s award-winning flagship global affairs program.

Author Residence: London, UK

Author Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon

Marketing: Social media and online promotion

Academic marketing and library promotions / Twitter / Instagram

Publicity: Print and online reviews and features

National broadcast campaign

Political media attention

Author Website:

Author Social Media: Twitter, Instagram: @ZahraHankir. Twitter: @CAmanpour (foreword)

Praise for Our Women on the Ground:

“Emotionally resonant and eminently readable…[Our Women on the Ground] will appeal greatly to readers interested in global women’s issues, journalism, and the modern Arab world.” Library Journal (starred review)

“Remarkable [and] illuminating…Readers will be moved as each essay reflects both its writer and the people whose stories she reported to the world.” Booklist (starred review)

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