Meeting Arwa Damon


Iman Tabbaa

A couple of my friends and I when we met Arwa.

Salma Almoradi, Photojournalist

On the afternoon of Friday, October 19, 2018, Syrian- American Emmy Award Winner Journalist Arwa Damon hosted a media workshop. Basically, she talked about how to get into the media and have an influence. Arwa also shared some of her experiences as a journalist as well as how she got to where she is now. Arwa currently is a correspondent for CNN, based in Istanbul. Starting in 2003, she has covered the Middle East as a freelance journalist before she joined CNN in 2006.


Arwa was originally a biology major, working in a high-end Turkish textile company in New York. Once 9/11 happened, she felt like she should become a journalist giving an inside look of what is going on in the Middle East. After being rejected several times, she finally got a job at a smaller news network, Camera Planet, that gave her an opportunity to go on a trip to Iraq to capture the war situation there. After several more years, she  joined CNN.


Being a part of CNN for so many years now, her most important cover so far has been on the Syrian War. Having a Syrian mother, the Syrian part of her felt the need to focus on such a horrible situation. After seeing such a terrible situation there, she felt the need to do something about it. Although risking her life many times to capture what was truly going on in the middle of the war zone was such an important thing, she wanted to do more. Arwa started a non-profit organization called INARA.


INARA stands for the “International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance,”  a humanitarian aid which provides medical services for children who have been wounded in war zones and rehabilitation treatment for their beneficiaries. Currently, the organization focuses on refugee children from Syria. Arwa feels so glad to be able to help such a great cause and make a difference for something that truly touches her heart. She told us Syrians to never stop trying to achieve our goals, even if it might seem impossible.  Never would she have imagined she would be where she is now as a college student. Her down-to-earth personality shows that she does what she does for the sole purpose of making a difference.


Arwa also taught us ways to capture people’s attention, and how to get into the media industry.  For example, the way the article is headlined and the location of the pictures both make a difference to your article as they capture the audience’s attention. Additionally, she warned us that this job is not as glamorous as it seems because once you step into a war zone, you cannot unsee what has happened.  When Alex Hindeleh (12) heard about who she is, he was amazed by “the endless amount of accomplishments she has completed.” Arwa Damon is truly an inspiration. Her hard work is proven after seeing the impact  she is making in the world, especially the Middle East. The fact that she has never stopped trying shows the determination she had to accomplish her goal and the passion she has for what she does.