Friday, May 16, 2008


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Syrian-American CNN anchor sacrifices personal life for career
By Nada Bakri Daily Star staff
Wednesday, March 01, 2006

For Syrian-American Hala Gorani, a reporter and anchor for CNN International, portraying events fairly and accurately has been her reward for putting numerous aspects of her personal life on hold and making several sacrifices.

Not only is her profession fun, she says, but more importantly it stimulates her intellectually. However, she notes that her busy schedule means she is still single at the age of 36.

"It is very fun, stimulating and interesting," she says. "You would not do a job like this and put other aspects of your life clearly on hold if not for the right reasons."

Blonde and blue-eyed, Gorani was born in the U.S. to Syrian parents and spent her childhood bouncing between Washington and France. She says her heart "has always been a Middle Eastern one."

She joined CNN International eight years ago as a morning anchor, but was obviously fast-tracked for stardom as only eight years later she became World News anchor, in addition to presenting "Inside the Middle East," a half-hour program featuring stories on the most important social and cultural issues in the region.

Gorani says her interest has always been focused on the Middle East, which she believes is "going through a rebirth." "In every rebirth there are some contractions and pain. I think the region is going through that phase currently and I hope these yield to something positive at the end," she says.

Although she said that access to governmental institutions can be difficult and official reactions are not only slow but also "stock-answers," she noted a progress and huge difference between how quick one can get a comment today versus 10 years ago.

"I have found that even in Syria I can get a governmental reaction in five minutes, 10 years ago it would take you a week to get one," she says.

The reason behind that evolution, she says, is because Arab satellite channels have developed in "an extremely professional way, somehow forcing their governments to react quicker."

Recent years and the so-called war on terror have seen CNN attract criticism from the Middle East for its coverage of regional events since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S.

The channel has been accused of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bias, but Gorani rejects this accusation and her answer to her accusers is simply "watch my program."

She says she has "absolutely all the freedom to do anything" she wants and adds that never have any of her reports been censored or cancelled.

Gorani says what makes her professional is her constant battle to neutralize her opinions as much as possible and to give fair representation for everyone in her reports.

She describes herself as an independent observer whose "fair and accurate contribution" to the global pool of information alters this pool in a positive way.

"When I bring into light a problem, an issue, a frustration or even something positive that is going on I positively contribute to the worldwide pool of information and by doing so I become an active and productive member of the society," she says.

1 comment:

sam said...

She is amazing!