19 September 1977 |
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Arwa Damon (born September 19, 1977) is a 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.
Damon was part of the CNN team who won the 2012 Emmy Award for Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story - Long Form (Revolution in Egypt: President Mubarak Steps Down). In 2014, she was awarded the Courage in Journalism Award given by the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF).
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 Damon has 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. Starting in December 2010, she covered the Arab Spring from Libya and Egypt. After the 2012 Benghazi attack, she was one of the early journalists to arrive at the scene and recovered slain Ambassador J. Christopher's personal diary.  She later won an Investigative Reporters and Editors' IRE Award for her reporting of the event, along with fellow photojournalist Sarmad Qaseera. 
Born in Boston, Damon graduated with honors from Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey in 1994, where her father, Dr. George H. Damon, Jr., was a teacher and middle school director from 1988 to 1998. An American, her father went from there to Isıkkent School in Izmir, and was then headmaster of the American Community School at Beirut from 2003 until his retirement in 2013.  Damon's mother, Joumana, is Syrian and grew up in Damascus. Damon is the granddaughter of Muhsin al-Barazi, the former Syrian Kurd 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. At age six, her family moved to Morocco, followed by Istanbul three years later, where her father joined Robert College. Damon skipped sixth grade and graduated from high school at the age of sixteen. She then spent a gap year with her aunt and uncle in Morocco, learning show jumping, before moving to the U.S. to attend Skidmore College.
Before becoming a reporter, Damon worked for a high-end New York–based Turkish textile company. She decided to become a journalist after 9/11, starting her career as a freelance journalist at the beginning of Iraq War when she headed to Baghdad.
- "Winners of The 33rd Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards". The Emmy Awards. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
- Arwa Damon at the Internet Movie Database
- "Arwa Damon: 2014 Courage in Journalism Award". IWMF. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
- Heidi Mitchell (November 19, 2012). "Facing the Truth: CNN’s Arwa Damon". Vogue. pp. 1–3. Retrieved 30-06-2014.
- "2012 IRE Award winners". Investigative Reporters and Editors. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
- "CNN's Arwa Damon wins 2014 Courage in Journalism Award". CNN. May 16, 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
- "Special dinner held recognizing Dr. George H. Damon, Jr., retiring head of the American Community School at Beirut". American Community School, Beirut; News Post. 07/15/2013. Retrieved 2014-07-01.
- CNN Programs - Anchors/Reporters - Arwa Damon CNN.
- Gold, Hadas. "Getting There: CNN's Arwa Damon". Politico. Retrieved 2014-06-30.