Azadeh Moaveni is a journalist, writer, and academic who has been covering the Middle East for nearly two decades. She started reporting in Cairo in 1998, while on a Fulbright fellowship to the American University in Cairo. It was from there that she travelled to Iran in 1999, to cover the students riots at the University of Tehran, the worst disturbance the country, her family’s homeland, had experienced since its 1979 revolution. For the next several years she reported from throughout the region as Middle East correspondent for Time magazine, based in Tehran, but covering Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, and Iraq. In 2003 when the United States invaded Iraq, she travelled across land from Tehran to Najaf on the convoy of Ayatollah Baqer Hakim.
In 2005, amidst the rise of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, she settled in Tehran and started a family, documenting in her columns for Time and in her second memoir how Iranians coped with the escalating sanctions against their country and the political tenure of a religious ideologue extreme even by local standards.
Her work has focused throughout on how women and girls are disproportionately impacted by political instability and conflict, and the interplay between Islamism and women’s rights.
In November 2015, she published a front-page piece in the New York Times on ISIS women defectors that was finalist for a Pulitzer as part of the Times’ ISIS coverage and that was one of the most-read investigative features of the years.