My name is Orly Halpern. I’m a journalist who has been traveling across the Middle East (and occasionally beyond) for many years to discover and share untold stories. During the first year of the Iraq War I lived and reported from Iraq. Before that and since then I have been based in Jerusalem.
I have discovered from my reporting in the Muslim world that many of my perceptions about Arabs and Muslims, be they fighters, farmers or leaders of movements on the West’s terror lists, were wrong. (Ask me some time to tell you about my first interview with a Hamas leader in my car on the day of the 2006 Palestinian Legislative elections.) They were based on stereotypes or on what I was fed by my governments and – yes – by the media.
It’s our job as journalists to get past the rhetoric and the preconceived ideas. But doing that means taking risks. We may become targets of lobby groups or governments who want to stifle the truth in order to perpetuate their ideologies or their rule. Sometimes we even risk our lives, entering warzones or territory where we are perceived as the enemy, in order to discover and reveal what the Other wants, thinks, believes.
I take those risks because I believe that it can save lives. There is no with only one side and unless we know the other side conflicts continue.
So I aim with this blog to reveal the small stories of the occupation (which add up to so much pain – and eventually violence) and I will share my analysis of the moves of governments involved directly and indirectly with the region, but in particular the occupying government: Israel.
I assure/warn you that you will not be getting a rewrite of the the Israeli Foreign Ministry press releases.
I will also share the occasional frustration in my quest to find my B’shert, my Nasib, my Prince. He seems as elusive as peace in the Middle East. We’ll see who or what comes first…
Feel free to comment, discuss, yell, cry, laugh. In fact, I encourage it. But please be thoughtful and respectful. No knee-jerk responses, no name-calling. I look forward to sharing with and hearing from you!
I can also be reached for interviews and lectures via my email address: orly at orlyhalpern dot com.