A Thousand Farewells: Nahlah Ayed on a life divided between Canada and the Middle East

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nahlah ayed.jpgFirst aired on Mansbridge One on One (04/08/12)

Nahlah Ayed is familiar to many Canadians as one of CBC News' top correspondents, reporting from political hot spots around the world. She has covered the Middle East for most of the last decade. And now the reporter has written a memoir about her life, from her childhood in Winnipeg with immigrant parents to the changes she's witnessed first-hand reporting on the Middle East. Ayed spoke with Peter Mansbridge on Mansbridge One on One about A Thousand Farewells and her life in journalism.

Ayed's memoir is the remarkable story of a childhood spent partly in Canada and partly in the Middle East (her parents moved the family there for several years so Ayed and her siblings could better understand their heritage), and an adulthood split between the same two places (Ayed studied journalism in Canada, and soon returned to the Middle East to become a foreign correspondent). The book is extremely personal, a departure for Ayed, whose career on camera has never been about herself.

"It would have been disingenuous to write a book about the Middle East, which is what I embarked on doing, without talking about myself," she said. "And also a lot of the things that happened to me along the way actually kind of illustrated some of the points I was trying to make about the Middle East. I tried to avoid [talking about myself] at one point, but it was impossible."

The Current also interviewed Nahlah Ayed on April 12, 2012. Listen to her conversation with Anna Maria Temonti here.