Shelfari edited the description of A Thousand Farewells: A Reporter's Journey From Refugee Camp to the Arab Spring Tuesday, December 11, 2012.
Born in Canada to immigrant parents, raised in Jordan as a Palestinian refugee, award-winning CBC reporter for the Middle East, Nahlah Ayed offers a unique insider’s perspective to Canadians. When she was a child, Ayed’s parents made the fateful decision to move from Manitoba back to Jordan to ensure that their four children remained connected to their culture and heritage. For Nahlah and her siblings, it was a shocking change: they’d left their comfortable Winnipeg home for the squalor of a refugee camp in Amman. Living first in a tent, then in a concrete house, Ayed meets her extended family and learns of the sorrows of generations of displaced Palestinians. Uprooted and prevented from returning to their ancestral lands by the new geopolitical reality of Israel, they struggle to forge a new life in daunting conditions. At the same time, she is confronted with the sometimes uncomfortable realities of growing up female in a restrictive culture. Driven towards journalism by a desire to challenge wrongdoing, Nahlah found herself, unexpectedly, covering both the Afghanistan and then Iraq wars. She continues to cover the recent upheavals in Egypt and Libya. However, it is not war that she is following, but the plight of the region’s people who struggle to rebuild lives amid danger, uncertainty, and perpetual displacement.