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Jury Committee

Mohamad Bazzi, NYU Journalism Professor & Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies Director

Mohamad Bazzi is director of the Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies and an associate professor of journalism at New York University. From 2009 to 2013, he served as an adjunct senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He was also the 2008 Edward R. Murrow press fellow at CFR.

Before joining the NYU faculty, Bazzi was the Middle East bureau chief at Newsday from 2003 to 2008, where he established bureaus in Baghdad and Beirut. He was the lead writer on the Iraq war and its aftermath. He also served as Newsday’s United Nations bureau chief and as a metro reporter in New York City. His essays and commentaries on the Middle East have appeared in The New York Times, London Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, The Nation, The Guardian, Boston Review, Politico Magazine, Reuters, and other publications.

He has won numerous journalism awards, including the 2017 and 2016 National Headliner Award; the 2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists Award; the 2008 Arthur Ross Award for distinguished reporting and analysis on foreign affairs, presented by the American Academy of Diplomacy; the 2008 American Academy of Religion Award for in-depth reporting on religion; the 2005 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Prize from the United Nations Correspondents Association; and the 2004 James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism.

Leila Fadel, NPR Morning Edition Host 

Leila Fadel is a host of Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.

As a national correspondent, Fadel consistently reported on the fault lines of this divided nation. She flew to Minneapolis in the midst of the pandemic as the city erupted in grief and anger over the killing of George Floyd. She's reported on policing and race, on American Muslim communities and on the jarring inequities the coronavirus laid bare in the healthcare system. Her "Muslims in America: A New Generation" series, in collaboration with National Geographic, won the prestigious Goldziher Prize in 2019.

Previously, she was NPR's international correspondent based in Cairo and covered the wave of revolts in the Middle East and their aftermaths in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and beyond. Her stories brought listeners to the heart of a state-ordered massacre of pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters in Cairo in 2013 when police shot into crowds of people to clear them and killed between 1,000 and 2,000 people. She told the tales of a coup in Egypt and what it is like for a country to go through a military overthrow of an elected government. She covered the fall of Mosul to ISIS in 2014 and documented the harrowing tales of the Yazidi women who were kidnapped and enslaved by the group. Her coverage also included stories of human smugglers in Egypt and the Syrian families desperate and willing to pay to risk their lives and cross a turbulent ocean for Europe.

She was awarded the Lowell Thomas Award from the Overseas Press Club for her coverage of the 2013 coup in Egypt and the toll it took on the country and Egyptian families. In 2017 she earned a Gracie award for the story of a single mother in Tunisia whose two eldest daughters were brainwashed and joined ISIS. The mother was fighting to make sure it didn't happen to her younger girls.

Before joining NPR, Fadel covered the Middle East for The Washington Post as the Cairo Bureau Chief. Prior to her position as Cairo Bureau Chief for the Post, she covered the Iraq war for nearly five years with Knight Ridder, McClatchy Newspapers, and later the Washington Post. Her foreign coverage of the devastating human toll of the Iraq war earned her the George. R. Polk award in 2007. In 2016 she was the Council on Foreign Relations Edward R. Murrow fellow.

Fadel is a Lebanese-American journalist who speaks conversational Arabic and was raised in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

Kareem Fahim, Washington Post, Istanbul Bureau Chief covering the Middle East

Kareem Fahim has served as the Istanbul bureau chief and a Middle East correspondent for The Washington Post since September 2016. Previously, he worked for 11 years as a staff reporter for the New York Times, with assignments on the metro desk and as a Cairo-based foreign correspondent reporting on the Arab uprisings and their aftermath. Fahim attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, and Columbia University's graduate School of International and Public Affairs. He grew up in Palo Alto, Calif., and in Kuwait.

Ayman Mohyeldin, MSNBC host of 'AYMAN' 

Ayman Mohyeldin is the host of the MSNBC prime time show “AYMAN”. He has become one of the most distinct and unique voices on cable news with his show’s clippings and social media posts generating millions of impressions, views and interactions on all platforms. His weekly news program features global leaders, US politicians and officials, journalists and analysts on the most pressing US and international political, social, and cultural news itemsof the day. Most recently, he has been involved in the network’s special coverage of the 2020 Elections, the insurrection at the US Capitol and the inauguration of President Joe Biden. In addition, Mohyeldin has field anchored during some of the networks biggest domestic and international news stories over the past decade including the coverage of massive social justice and racial equality protests across the United States, the immigration crisis in Central America, the wave of terrorist attacks in Europe and the rise of global extremism.

Previously, Mohyeldin spent more than a decade as a foreign correspondent covering the Middle East, Asia and Europe. He has reported from dozens of countries during times of war, revolution, political turmoil and natural disasters. His coverage of the Arab Spring was recognized and praised for its distinction around the world. As a foreign-based Correspondent, Mohyeldin covered major conflicts including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Iraq war, the Syrian Civil War, the Libyan war, sectarian strife in Lebanon, revolutionary protests in Ukraine, nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula and more. In the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq invasion, Mohyeldin was based in Baghdad where he reported on the daily struggles of ordinary Iraqis caught up in sectarian war and an anti American insurgency. He was among the few journalists allowed to observe and report on the U.S. handover of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to an Iraqi judge during his very first court appearance. He also produced Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi’s exclusive interview on abandoning his country’s WMD program.

In addition to his broadcast experiences, Ayman has contributed to Vanity Fair where his yearlong investigation in to Saudi Arabia’s secret operations to silence critics and dissidents received worldwide attention. He has also contributed to TIME magazine. Mohyeldin also developed and hosted the award-winning, chart-topping podcast ‘American Radical’ which has won the Deadline Club Awards and the Society of Professional Journalism Awards.

TIME Magazine named Mohyeldin as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2011. He has received multiple international awards including a Peabody, a Sigma Delta Chi Award, Argentina’s Perfil International Press Freedom Award, the UK’s Cutting Edge Media Award, and the European Union’s Anna Lindh Foundation Award He has been named as Journalist of the Year by both GQ Magazine and Esquire Magazine.

In addition, Mohyeldin has lectured at Universities and organizations around the world. He holds a BA and MA from American University in Washington, DC.

Jason Rezaian, Washington Post Columnist and #544Days Podcast Host 

Jason Rezaian is an award winning journalist who is currently a Global Opinions Columnist for The Washington Post, writing primarily on international affairs, press freedom and human rights issues. Formerly The Post’s Tehran Bureau Chief, he is the Host of “544 Days,” the Spotify Original podcast series based on his 2019 best-selling memoir, “Prisoner” about his time as a hostage in Iran and the extraordinary efforts it took to free him.

Rezaian is also the Executive Producer of two documentary films: “Nasrin” about the internationally acclaimed Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, and “Bring Them Home,” a Washington Post Opinions film about the real time efforts of a family working to free yet another American hostage held in Tehran.

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