19 September 1977 |
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Arwa Damon (born September 19, 1977) is CNN International Beirut-based Senior International Correspondent. Damon joined CNN in February 2006. For the three years previous, she covered the Middle East as a freelance producer working with CNN, PBS, Fox News and others. She began her journalism career at CameraPlanet, working to get correspondent Peter Arnett's team into pre-war Iraq.
She has covered many military and civil events during the invasion and occupation of Iraq. These include the United States Army's Battle of Najaf against the Mehdi Army and the battle to retake Samarra in 2004. She has also reported on the United States Marine Corps' offensive against insurgents in Fallujah and Operation Steel Curtain in Husaybah near the Syrian border.
Civil events she covered include the Iraqi elections of January 2005, the constitutional referendum vote in October 2005, and the Iraqi election of December 2005. She also reported on the trial and executions of Saddam Hussein, Barzan Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti and Awad Hamed al-Bandar in January 2007.
Damon graduated from Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey, with honors in 1994, where her father, Dr. George H. Damon, was a teacher and middle school director from 1988 to 1998. An American, her father went from there to Isıkkent School in Izmir, and is presently headmaster of the American Community School at Beirut. Damon's mother, Joumana, is Syrian and grew up in Damascus. She is the granddaughter of Muhsin al-Barazi, the former prime minister of Syria who was executed in the 1949 military coup. 
According to the CNN website, Damon graduated with honors from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, in 1999 with a double major in French and biology and a minor in international affairs. She is fluent in Arabic, French, Turkish, and English, having grown up speaking all four languages. She spent her early childhood years in Wayland, Massachusetts, and then moved to Turkey until her graduation from high school. She then spent a year in Morocco before moving to the U.S. to attend Skidmore College.
Before becoming a reporter, Damon worked for a textile manufacturer.