I’m a journalist and author based between Beirut, Lebanon and New York City. An alumna of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, I’ve reported feature stories and produced for outlets including The Atlantic, The Washington Post, NBC News, HBO, The Nation, Newsweek, Esquire, New York, The Daily Beast, Harpers, Foreign Policy, The New Statesman, Village Voice, VICE and Vox.com. My goal is to write about people existing in extreme circumstances. Instead of focusing exclusively on the politics of conflict, I try to convey how political strife affects the humans involved.
I’ve covered a wide range of topics including the war against ISIS in Iraq, child suicide among Syrian refugees and Hezbollah’s position in Lebanon. In Egypt and Turkey, I reported on anti-government protests. It’s important to me that my readers experience the ways in which regimes impact those they govern. I’m also fascinated with issues of gender and sexuality, and my interest has led me to examine LGBT rights in the Middle East and investigate the region’s sex trade.
My father is Terry Anderson, the Associated Press bureau chief kidnapped in Lebanon three months before I was born in 1985. I met him when he was released after almost seven years of captivity. My book The Hostage’s Daughter was published by HarperCollins on October 4, 2016. It’s a reported investigation of my father’s captivity blended with my own memoir, in which I describe my journey to find and interview the terrorists who held my father hostage. The Hostage’s Daughter won a Nonfiction Book Award, two International Book Awards and has been optioned for film. I’m currently working on my second book, Homegrown: A Journey into American Extremism, which is about fundamentalist groups in the United States. Its publication date has yet to be announced.