David Hirst (born 1936) is a veteran Middle East correspondent based in Beirut. He attended Rugby School from 1949 to 1954 and performed his national service in Egypt and Cyprus from 1954 to 1956. From 1956 to 1963 he studied at Oxford University and the American University of Beirut. He reported for the Guardian from 1963 to 1997 and has also written for the Christian Science Monitor, the Irish Times, the St. Petersburg Times, Newsday, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Daily Star. He was kidnapped twice (including one kidnapping in Beirut from which he escaped on by bolting from his captors' automobile in a Shia neighborhood of Beirut. ) and was banned at various times from visiting six Arab countries, including Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He continues to contribute to the Guardian and to other newspapers around the world.