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“As Long As There Are Eman Al-Obeidy’s, We Need Lara Logan’s” Reflections from a Women’s Journalist in the Middle East

Anna Therese Day is a freelance journalist covering women’s issues and youth movements in the Arab Spring. Ms. Day has worked, traveled, studied, and volunteered throughout the region since 2007, and her coverage has included Gaza post-Operation Cast Lead, Lebanon’s 2009 post-election violence, a variety of aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, the recent Bahraini government crackdown, and the continued Libyan unrest. Safely back to her home base of Cairo, Day discusses the challenges and choices involved in covering the Arab world as a young woman.

Decisions, Decisions…

At the end of March of 2011, my colleague, David, and I were consumed by an unending debate over our next destination: Libya or Yemen. When we asked for a deciding opinion, our friend responded, “You’re asking me which way I’d prefer either of you to commit suicide – jumping off a cliff [Yemen] or shooting yourself in the face [Libya].”

A week prior, NATO had begun bombarding Gaddafi forces with airstrikes in response to his violent crackdown on protests in the East that killed over 200 Libyans within its first week. In Yemen, public demonstrations were continuing into their fourth week; however, nearly 50 people had been shot dead by snipers on the previous Friday.

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