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Tarabay, Jamie (1975 - )

9 January 1975
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Journalist, Print journalist and War correspondent


Jamie Tarabay is an Australian born journalist who has spent most of her professional life reporting on matters in the middle east. Since September 2000 she has worked as a foreign correspondent for Associated Press (AP) and American National Public Radio (NPR), covering wars in Palestine and Iraq. She is one of very few western women who have made a career as a war reporter. In January 2007, Tarabay was part of the NPR News team that won the prestigious Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of Iraq.

Lebanese by heritage, Tarabay grew up in Sydney, Berlin and Beirut. She has a BA in Government and French from the University of Sydney and can speak Arabic and French.


Tarabay developed her love and talent for writing as a small girl living in Lebanon. She would write stories and read one chapter a night to my sisters to keep them entertained. 'It helped,' she says, 'that they were a captive audience: we were living in Lebanon at the time, and spent most nights during a 10 month spell in a bomb shelter as war broke out around us.'

After returning to Australia Tarabay finished school and went to university. After graduating with a BA she found a corporate job that paid well but numbed her brain. She quit to take up a position as editorial assistant for MIS Magazine, an IT trade magazine. In 1997 she began work as an editorial assistant at Australian Associated Press (AAP) eventually getting a cadetship with that organisation. In June 1999 she AAP and traveled to Singapore where she joined The Associated Press (AP) in their bureau. After that, she was transfered in 2000 to the Jerusalem bureau, where she covered the Palestinian intifada for three years. She returned to Sydney and worked at AP's bureau there for two years. During that time she traveled to Baghdad where she reported for three months after the United States invasion.

Tarabay is the only reporter to have ever interviewed a woman who was married to Saddam Hussein for ten years. Her reporting also covered the deaths of Saddam's two sons, and the US military's ongoing efforts to fight both Shiite and Sunni insurgencies. She returned to Baghdad in 2004, and followed that with a stint in Jerusalem to report on the death of Yasser Arafat. In 2005 She took up a reporting position for the AP in Cairo, Egypt. Her book, A Crazy Occupation, Eyewitness to the Intifada, was published in September 2005 by Allen and Unwin.

She became National Public Radio's Bureau Chief in Baghdad in October 2005, and headed coverage there until 2008. We were awarded the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award, the only news organization so recognized for its work on Iraq. Her essay on Iraq was featured in the quarterly journal "Dispatches" which was published in 2008.

In February 2008 Tarabay moved to the US and she is now in the middle of a project reporting on Islam and America. Her reports can be heard on NPR's news programs 'Morning Edition' and 'All Things Considered'.


1997 - 2010
Career in journalism active
Winner: Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of Iraq

Sources used to compile this entry: Tarabay, Jamie, A Crazy Occupation: Eyewitness to the Intifada, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2005; Email Correspondence with Jamie Tarabay, 2010-01-14.

Digital resources

Picture of Jamie Tarabay


Nikki Henningham

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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