Sawssan Abou-Zahr is a Lebanese journalist, editor and consultant. She covers issues related to the Arab Spring, women, Syrian and Palestinian refugees, radical Islamist movements, and Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. She has written features on human rights issues and peacebuilding based on field research in Afghanistan and Libya, and has also worked on assignments in Switzerland, Bahrain, Oman, Poland, Algeria, Brazil, Germany, Morocco, Kuwait and Turkey, covering high profile events and interviewing prominent political figures. She has contributed to editions of the IREX report on media freedom in Lebanon.

Latest from Sawssan Abou-Zahr

The remarkable story of Kareemat and its founder

Based in Turkey, Kareemat is a local organisation that works to support Syrian refugees by helping women find employment opportunities, dissuading young men from taking up arms, and combating stereotypes towards Syrian refugees in Turkey. They are one of the finalists of Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders, our annual awards that celebrate the world’s most innovative local peacebuilders. Read more »

19 October 2018

Peace as the business of the future, follow Elworthy's roadmap

As a peacebuilder in the Middle East, our local peacebuilding expert from Lebanon acknowledges that with all this turmoil around us it is hard to be optimistic. It is all the more remarkable therefore that she found a book that left her smiling and hopeful. In her review of "The Business Plan for Peace: Building a World Without War" by Scilla Elworthy, the founder of Peace Direct, Sawssan Abou-Zahr reviews the roadmap the book puts forward for peace among nations and within them. Read more »

21 June 2018

Lebanon’s Parliamentary Elections: Women Shattering the Glass Ceiling?

After almost a decade of delays that stalled Lebanon's political process, parliamentary elections held next month will be a watershed moment for women and youth who seek to have their voices heard. But will it be enough to shake up Lebanon's corrupt and male-dominated political system? Read more »

25 April 2018

Refugees and the media in Lebanon

A poisonous attitude has emerged among the media reporting on the refugee crisis in Lebanon, says Sawssan Abou-Zahr. Bias and racism are being used to blame domestic problems on those fleeing war – and distracting from the real issues. Read more »

29 August 2017

The disappeared of Lebanon: the unfinished story of a finished war

The people that disappeared during Lebanon’s civil war have haunted the country for years. But what have the authorities done to help? Read more »

05 July 2017

The harshness of being a Syrian refugee in Lebanon

Sawssan Abou-Zahr speaks to Syrian refugees in Lebanon about the struggles they face and their dreams for the future. Read more »

13 November 2015

When theatre turns enemies into brothers

A new Lebanese play aims to bring people together from across the social and political divides in Tripoli. Sawssan Abou-Zahr reports. Read more »

21 August 2015

Razan - a dream blowing in the wind?

Sawssan Abou-Zahr reflects on the hopes and disappointment of the Libyan revolution with novelist Razan Almoghrabi. Read more »

21 January 2015

A religious fanatic turned peace advocate

The journey of Assad Shaftari – a religious fanatic turned peace advocate. Read more »

10 November 2014

Lebanon, land of dialogue and opportunity

A new initiative aims to harness Lebanon’s diversity in order to bring people together. Read more »

04 November 2014