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Asser Khattab

Asser Khattab

Contributing Editor

Asser Khattab is a contributing editor at New Lines magazine. He is a Paris-based writer. He reported on Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq for various international news outlets including The Washington Post, the Financial Times, and the Spanish news agency (EFE).

Latest from Asser Khattab

How Middle East Media Outlets Fan Homophobic Flames

How Middle East Media Outlets Fan Homophobic Flames

In addition to state and religious authorities in the region, one of the most insidious actors is local media. While some websites and news agencies are easy to dismiss by those of us who get their information from more reliable and professional media outlets, they still are very influential and harmful.

Asser Khattab
A Changed Journalist Returns to a Changed Beirut

A Changed Journalist Returns to a Changed Beirut

Throughout those two unforgettable weeks, I kept repeating to myself: This must be how it feels for journalists moving here from abroad to report on Lebanon and neighboring countries.

Asser Khattab
The Fine Line Between Journalism and Exploitation

The Fine Line Between Journalism and Exploitation

How far can we go in intruding upon the misery of someone who has just gone through a tragic event? Is it always OK for us to rush to accept someone's consent to be filmed or recorded when they have just been through a tremendous shock?

Asser Khattab
Coverage of Macron’s Win Obscures Other Issues

Coverage of Macron’s Win Obscures Other Issues

A second term for Macron was always the likeliest possibility, and that should have called for more focus on what it means for France, rather than merely covering him with a messianic cloak by focusing on his role as the only bulwark against a far right presidency, even if that’s true.

Asser Khattab
Risk-Taking Local News Producers Deserve Better

Risk-Taking Local News Producers Deserve Better

I find it urgent that we should use this momentum to raise the world’s awareness of what local field producers do, and what they have often been robbed of.

Asser Khattab
Simplistic Reporting on Arab Leaders Can Do More Harm Than Good

Simplistic Reporting on Arab Leaders Can Do More Harm Than Good

When covering the Middle East, international media would do well to steer away from simplistic dichotomies. Instead of illuminating the region, it can end up empowering the very despots they are reporting on.

Asser Khattab
Arabic Media Coverage of the Ukraine War is Incomplete

Arabic Media Coverage of the Ukraine War is Incomplete

Relying on traditional Arabic-language media outlets to get one’s information about world events is a fool’s errand. But given the lamentable fact that most Arabic-language media outlets are affiliated with or influenced by authoritarian regimes, tuning in can inform you about the proclivities of the regime in question.

Asser Khattab
War Coverage May Depend on Who’s Involved

War Coverage May Depend on Who’s Involved

There is an underlying idea that the victims of the war on Ukraine deserve more sympathy because people there are not used to it, whereas people in the Middle East, well, that’s all they know anyway.

Asser Khattab
Journalism Credentials: How Identity Can Influence Coverage

Journalism Credentials: How Identity Can Influence Coverage

The role of international media outlets today goes above and beyond covering the world for news consumers back in the homeland.

Asser Khattab
Why I Stopped Writing About Syria

Why I Stopped Writing About Syria

Of course, I was not going to get a staff job, I was not going to be called “correspondent,” and I was not going to be relocated anywhere. Quite the contrary, when I had to flee Syria with only a few hundred dollars in my pocket, I was immediately let go from a job I risked my life daily by doing in secret. A few years later, I lost another job because I had to move to another country once again for security reasons.

Asser Khattab
Swastikas in Damascus

Swastikas in Damascus

A death notice appeared in a Lebanese village north of Beirut last September of a man with a curious first name. It took me back to my school days in Syria and the unusual interest many of my fellow schoolboys had in the history of the Second World War.

Asser Khattab
Apologists Call Assad Secular. Assad Tells Syrians Otherwise

Apologists Call Assad Secular. Assad Tells Syrians Otherwise

“What is the difference between a human and an animal?” Assad said. “Humans have feelings and animals have feelings. … Humans speak and parrots speak … animals have brains and they learn. … The difference between a human and an animal is just one thing that human beings have: creed.”

Asser Khattab
Cracks in the Assad Facade

Cracks in the Assad Facade

The death of Syria's foreign minister was tragic to many regime sympathizers. They now witness in horror the decline of the old guard and the rise of the warlords as one of the defining features of Bashar al-Assad’s proclaimed victory over a shattered Syria.

Asser Khattab
‘It’s like Judgment Day’: Syrians Recount Horror of an Underreported COVID-19 Outbreak

‘It’s like Judgment Day’: Syrians Recount Horror of an Underreported COVID-19 Outbreak

Syrians ravaged by war are now dying from a pandemic the government has downplayed.

Asser Khattab