Ayman Mohyeldin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ayman Mohyeldin
Ayman Mohyeldin 2011 Shankbone.JPG
Mohyeldin at the 2011 Time 100 gala
Born (1979-04-18) April 18, 1979 (age 36)
Cairo, Egypt
Ethnicity Egyptian
Education American University
Occupation Journalist
Religion Islam [1]

Ayman Mohyeldin (Arabic: أيمن محيى الدين‎, IPA: [ˈʔæjmæn ˈmoħj edˈdiːn]; born April 18, 1979) is an Egyptian-American journalist based in Los Angeles for NBC News. He previously worked for Al Jazeera and CNN. Ayman was one of the first Western journalists allowed to enter and report on the handing over and trial of the deposed President of Iraq Saddam Hussein by the Iraqi Interim Government for crimes against humanity.[2] More recently, Ayman has covered the Gaza War[3] as well as the Arab Spring.

Early life[edit]

Mohyeldin was born in Cairo, Egypt, to an Egyptian father, and a Palestinian mother. He grew up in Egypt until the age of 5 when his parents emigrated to the U.S. He lived in Iraq from 2003–2005 as a foreign news producer with CNN.[2][4] Mohyeldin received his undergraduate education at American University in Washington D.C., earning a BA in International Relations with a focus on the European Union. He received an MA in International Politics with a focus on Peace and Conflict Resolution. His graduate thesis was entitled, "The News Media Paradigm in the War on Terrorism," and, in 2002, it was accepted by the International Association of Media Researcher's Conference in Barcelona, Spain.


Mohyeldin in Gaza

Mohyeldin began his career in journalism working at NBC, as a desk assistant for the Washington D.C. bureau. Mohyeldin first major assignments happened shortly after 9/11.[4] In an interview with PRWeek, Ayman describes the opportunities that arose in the aftermath of 9/11: "There was a real shortage of people with language skills or expertise in the Middle East. Just because of my language skills and the timing, so to speak, I got a lot of experience. I was thrown into a mix of things that normally desk assistants at my level would not have gotten. I started working on some big pieces that had to do with investigating 9/11 and all kinds of international terrorist connections... I was doing translation mostly, but I was also developing themes or threads to stories that either had some Middle East connection to them or some type of Arabic language skills required. So it was an unbelievable experience at a really young age."[4]

Mohyeldin's coverage of major news events in the Arab World and Middle East include the Iraq War, the first multi-candidate presidential Egyptian elections in 2005, Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the 2005 Palestinian elections in the Gaza Strip. He has covered the Sharm al-Sheikh resort bombing (July 2005) and the Jordan Hotel bombings (November 2005).

As a producer, Mohyeldin became the first journalist to enter one of Libya's nuclear research facilities after producing Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi's first interview announcing Libya would abandon all WMD programs.[4] Mohyeldin's work in the CNN documentary "Iraq:progress report" about the daily struggles of Iraqis during the war was nominated for an Emmy Award. He served as an associate producer for the NBC News Special that also received Emmy nominations for "Ship at War: Inside the Carrier Stennis" and "Inside the Real West Wing."[4] Mohyeldin has also covered the annual Muslim Pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca and was involved in the production of CNN specials "Islam: The Struggle Within" and "Hajj: A Spiritual Journey."

In 2008–2009, Mohyeldin covered the Israeli attack on Gaza. The coverage of his reporting, along with Sherine Tadros has been released in the documentary " The War Around Us". He reported on the intricate network of tunnels that were once used for smuggling of weapons and people across the Egyptian-Gaza border and are now a vital route into Gaza for medicine, food and fuel supplies.[5]

In 2011 Mohyeldin left Al Jazeera English and returned to NBC where he extensively covered the second "Arab Uprising" in Egypt in 2013. He also covered the unrest in Ukraine, and most recently the unrest in Iraq.[citation needed]

2011 Egyptian revolution[edit]

Mohyeldin covered the 2011 Egyptian Revolution for Al Jazeera English. On January 28, 2011, Ayman broadcast from the Al Jazeera news building in Cairo for several hours straight, reporting on the Egyptian protests as protesters and Egyptian police battled for control of the 6th October Bridge. On January 30, Anis El Fekki of the Egyptian Interior Ministry revoked Al Jazeera's broadcast license and forced the closure of their Cairo bureau, claiming the network was conspiring with opposition groups to overthrow the government. Ayman was one of five Al Jazeera journalists arrested and briefly detained by Egyptian authorities the following day, after the network refused to cease broadcasting upon the loss of their accreditation.[6]

On February 6, 2011, Mohyeldin was again arrested by the Egyptian military upon trying to enter Tahrir square. He was released nine hours later.[7][8][9]

On September 20, 2011, Mohyeldin rejoined NBC News, where his career began.[10]

In January 2012, Mohyeldin traveled to Syria to cover the months-old uprising. Among the cities he visited was Daraa.[11]

In the summer of 2013 Ayman extensively covered the removal of President Mohamed Morsi from power In Egypt. That fall he also extensively covered the Syrian civil war and the effects of refugees overflowing into neighboring Lebanon. Mohyeldin also covered the agreement of Syria to dispose of their chemical weapons program.[citation needed]

During the uprisings in Ukraine in 2014, Ayman covered extensively in both Kiev and Donetsk. He traveled to the border in Eastern Ukraine and reported on Russian troop buildup, and the Ukrainian response. He also went "behind the scenes" into the occupied government buildings to report.[citation needed]

2014 Israel–Gaza conflict[edit]

On July 16, 2014, Mohyeldin witnessed and reported via a series of tweets, the death of 4 Palestinian children who were playing soccer and hide-and-seek on a Gaza beach during the 2014 conflict.[12] The first missile killed one child and the second killed the other 3. The killings were witnessed by many in the international press. Just moments earlier Mohyeldin was kicking a soccer ball with these boys in front of his hotel. The Israeli government claims that the beach was shelled in response to Hamas rocket fire originating from that area.[13][14][15]

Although Mohyeldin was a live witness to the event,[16] NBC correspondent Richard Engel reported the story from Tel Aviv. NBC followed by pulling Mohyeldin from Gaza and terminating his reporting duties from Gaza indefinitely. Engel was sent to replace him in Gaza.[17] NBC has been subsequently criticized by independent media outlets for removing Mohyeldin. NBC has not explained its actions[18] and reasons for pulling Mohyeldin.

Mohyeldin was returned to Gaza on July 18, 2014, after NBC received heavy criticism[19] for pulling him out of Gaza. NBC has offered no justification for either pulling him from Gaza, nor sending him back. On Sunday, Aug 3, 2014 Ayman announced via social media that after 4 weeks on the road he was "taking time to be with family.." Less than 48 hours later, Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease fire.

In the fall of 2014 Ayman moved to New York City to expand his role at NBC/MSNBC. In addition to his role as Foreign Correspondent Mohyeldin also took on the role of fill in anchor across the MSNBC programming family. He also hosts his own show on the MSNBC digital channel Shift called "RoadMap" which covers in depth a wide variety of international and political issues across the globe.[citation needed]

2015 Chris Kyle comments[edit]

On a January 29, 2015 interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, Ayman Mohyeldin said of Chris Kyle, subject of the movie American Sniper: “If you don’t know anything about Chris Kyle, if you don’t know this was a true story, this was a great movie,” Mohyeldin said. “But, when you juxtapose it with the real Chris Kyle in the story and what has emerged about what kind of personality he was in his own words — very far from reality.”[citation needed]

Mohyeldin suggested that the real Kyle may have had “racist tendencies” toward Iraqis and Muslims, which could have caused him to go on “some of these, you know, killing sprees in Iraq on assignment.” Host Joe Scarborough challenged Mohyeldin’s claim that Kyle went on killing sprees, and ended the segment saying, “All right, when we come back, Ayman is going to kick around Santa Claus".[20][21]

On February 10, 2015, a letter signed by 22 retired generals and admirals, a former deputy under secretary of defense for intelligence, and dozens of other officers was sent to NBC parent Comcast, demanding an apology. The letter included a statement that “Mohyeldin’s statements were an inexcusable slap in the face to the widow of Chris Kyle and to all those in the armed forces who continue to serve our country in harm’s way. Such rants do not add anything to a thoughtful discussion of public policy regarding Iraq."[20]

Allegation of bias during live news report[edit]

In October 2015 Ayman Mohyeldin was accused of bias by FOX News during live coverage of report where a Palestinian man wearing camouflaged clothing sprung out from a group of Israeli soldiers, wielding a knife and was subsequently shot. Mohyeldin initially reported that he did not see a knife, however he was corrected on air by another MSNBC journalist who ran a picture of the assailant holding a knife in the air.[22] This incident led to an online petition demanding Mohyeldin be fired.[23][24][25]


  1. ^ Mohammad, N. "One on One with Ayman Mohyeldin". 
  2. ^ a b Al Jazeera Field Correspondents Al Jazeera
  3. ^ Hundreds die in Israel raid on Gaza Al Jazeera
  4. ^ a b c d e Interview: Ayman Mohyeldin Brand Republic
  5. ^ Gaza's underground lifelines Youtube
  6. ^ Al Jazeera Reporters Arrested Bikya Masr. Staff. February 1, 2011
  7. ^ "Ayman Mohyeldin on his detention - Middle East - Al Jazeera English". english.aljazeera.net. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Live blog Feb 6 - Egypt protests | Al Jazeera Blogs". Blogs.aljazeera.net. Archived from the original on 6 February 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "Japan nuclear crisis". BBC News. March 26, 2011. 
  10. ^ Stelter, Brian (22 August 2011). "Al Jazeera Star Correspondent Rejoins NBC". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  11. ^ NBC's Ayman Mohyeldin answers reader questions from Syria
  12. ^ Visceral accounts of Gaza attack that killed 4 boys NY Times
  13. ^ Israeli strike kills four children at a Gaza beach Washington Post
  14. ^ Gaza strip beach explosion kills children NY Times
  15. ^ No charges over Palestinian children killed in Gaza beach bombing Deutsche Welle
  16. ^ Innocent gone Israeli strike gaza kills four children NBC News
  17. ^ Ayman Mohyeldin pulled Gaza NY Mag
  18. ^ NBC News Gaza Mohyeldin explanation Baltimore Sun
  19. ^ Democracy Now Youtube
  20. ^ a b Bedard, Paul (February 10, 2015). "Brass demand NBC apology over claim sniper Kyle was 'racist' on 'killing sprees'". Washington Examiner. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  21. ^ Rosenbaum, Sophia (February 10, 2015). "NBC under fire over reporter's claim sniper Chris Kyle was 'racist'". New York Post. Retrieved February 15, 2015. 
  22. ^ Feldman, Josh (October 15, 2015). "MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin Corrected On-Air After Suggesting Dead Palestinian Terrorist Wasn’t Armed". 
  23. ^ "New York - Petitioners to NBC: Fire Moheyldin for Biased Israeli Reporting". VosIzNeias. 
  24. ^ "Petition demands MSNBC fire reporter after misleading report on Jerusalem terror attack". Jerusalem Post. 19 October 2015. 
  25. ^ Grennell, Richard (16 October 2015). "Reporting from Jerusalem: The astonishing bias of NBC's Ayman Mohyeldin". Fox News Opinion. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 

External materials[edit]