News, Culture & Society

Follow the Work of These Middle East Experts in 2020

There is still time for you to make meaningful New Year’s resolutions for 2020 and beyond. If you have an interest in learning about what is really taking place in the Middle East, here are a few journalists, authors, and even artists that you should follow in 2020. It is time for fresh perspectives about the geopolitical status of the Middle East and the grave socioeconomic consequences of armed conflict as well as sectarian violence. These individuals are passionate about their work, and they will often provide you with a better view of the Middle East, at least much better than the views we usually get from statements and press releases from government officials.

Ronan Farrow is Heading to HBO

Ronan Farrow, the son of Hollywood legend Mia Farrow, is one of the best American investigative journalists we have seen in a while; he is clearly following in the steps of Jack Anderson and Seymour Hersh with regard to exposing the actions of the United States in terms of military interventions, and he is working on a series of investigative documentary films for HBO. Farrow’s approach to investigative reporting is extremely incisive. There is a colorful saying among journalists that explains the level of detail Farrow will go through before completing an assignment: “Learning that Ronan is writing about you is like finding that Omar Little from the HBO series ‘The Wire’ is coming after you.”

Amir Handjani – Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council

There comes a time in an adult’s life when you come to the realization that money never sleeps; it is always moving things around and causing things to develop or break down. Following the money is something that Middle East expert Amir Handjani, who has written analysis for Bloomberg, Reuters, Foreign Policy, and other major news outlets. Handjani has an interest in global security affairs, but he injects his writing with experience gathered after years of working as legal counsel for energy investment companies. One of Handjani’s most interesting articles was published in late 2018, just months before the American and Iranian conflict flared up again, and it dealt with the delicate issue of economic and financial sanctions. In the Middle East, and in the rest of the world for that matter, we can expect to find financial motives at play, and Handjani is pretty good at explaining such situations.

Joe Sacco – Graphic Artist

Comics journalism is an excellent way to look at the world, and it is highly recommended to younger readers, but this does not mean that authors of this publishing genre will oversimplify things. Born in Malta and educated in the United States, Joe Sacco is one of the only cartoonists ever to be embedded in the front lines of Middle East combat, and he has drawn gorgeous graphic novels about his battlefield reporting experiences. “Footnotes in Gaza” and “Palestine” are highly recommended to anyone who wishes to learn about the never-ending conflict in that part of the world.


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