Nahlah Ayed, a foreign correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), held a guest lecture in the weekly lunctime lecture at Kingston University on November 11. Ayed is a television reporter who for over a decade has reported from across the world covering earthquakes, wars and political strife. She is the author of A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter’s Journey From Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring and has won multiple awards.
She said being a foreign correspondent is “not for the faint hearted” and that it is not easy, however not impossible.
1. What would you consider your greatest achievement?
Being able to tell a story that a lot of people do not get to see, which is the human story in the Middle East. You hear about the war and the bad guys and the good guys, but you don’t hear about the ordinary people. I’m very proud of telling their stories.
2. What inspires you?
I feel very privileged to live where I live and to be born in Canada. I have the ability and the venue to tell other peoples stories, I’m just fortunate.
3. What do you like to do in your free time?
Music is my secret passion. I take piano lessons and I listen to music. It’s a big thing for me.
4. What is your motto?
These days its ‘sleep is for the weak’.
5. What country would you most like to live in?
Italy for sure, I love everything about it. It is just nice weather, nice food, nice wine.
6. What item would you take to a dessert island?
7. What advice would you give to aspiring journalist?
Learn how to troubleshoot, learn a language and get some experience. I can’t overstate troubleshooting enough because its solving problems. You have to know how to fix little things, because things break down and you can’t ask someone to fix it for you.
8. What would you say is the hardest part about being in the industry?
The dwindling resources. And then having to put on so many hats.
9. Who is your favourite journalist?
There are so many. Lets talk British for now. I admire Anthony Loyd, Jeremy Bowen and Lyse Doucet.
10. What are your future plans?
At the moment I’m just trying to do this job.