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FDL: Haider Newmani- Iraqi War Journalist
November 14 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Haider’s powerful and fascinating lectures include poignant and touching visuals from his experience in war-torn Iraq as a citizen of the country and a war journalist. His various capacities as a journalist, a civilian, an activist and a family man have given him a unique perspective about war. His presentation takes the audience into a journey through every-day-life in a war zone while highlighting the sufferings, challenges, bonds, ironies and human behavior of both; Iraqi civilians and US soldiers caught in the war.
Haider was born under the rule of Saddam Hussein – since then, he lived through four major wars, including the Iran/Iraq war, the Gulf war, and the US invasion of Iraq. As a journalist, he witnessed several other conflicts throughout the Middle East & North Africa region. In 2003, he joined the mainstream media as a war journalist. During his coverage of the US “War on Terror,” Haider spent two years embedded with U.S. military units covering combat operations. As a freelance journalist, he also spent time covering the perspective of armed resistance in the Middle East to learn more about their mindsets, goals and the reality of who they are.
As a result, Haider witnessed the war from the perspectives of soldiers, civilians, rebel fighters, and journalists; all while attending school as an undergraduate student. During that time, Haider was arrested, injured and kidnapped. He lost several family members and friends. He wanted to stay in his home country of Iraq but the risk became too great. “At some point I realized that it is more important to live for a cause than to die for one,” Haider expressed.
In subsequent years, Haider covered many headline-making news and events from the Middle East & North Africa; he attended all trial sessions of Saddam Hussein, witnessed the killing of Saddam’s sons, reported from the revolutions of the “Arab Spring” in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, and covered the killing of al Qaeda leaders, and the bloody sectarian violence and civil wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.