Nahlah Ayed on Refugee Camps, Journalism, and Egypt

A conversation with CBC correspondent Nahlah Ayed about refugee camps, the future of journalism, and Egypt.

By: /
25 June, 2012
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At the age of six, Nahlah Ayed moved with her family from her hometown of Winnipeg to the Al-Wihdat refugee camp in Jordan. Her parents, both Palestinian refugees, wanted to teach their children about their heritage first hand. The experience was, needless to say, an eye-opener. So begins Ayed’s new memoir A Thousand Farewells, which begins with her childhood experiences in Jordan and continues through her years as a foreign correspondent for the CBC in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Ayed live chatted with OpenCanada.org Senior Editor Taylor Owen about her childhood, how reporting has changed, and the current state of the Arab Spring in Syria and Egypt. Below is a transcript of that chat.

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Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

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