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I’m an independent journalist, published by the The Irish Times, Al Jazeera, the Guardian, RTÉ, Radio Canada, Le Point, La Presse and many others.


I mainly cover international stories - most recently, Iran's protests, Iraqi militia groups, narco-trafficking in Guinea Bissau, Hungary’s far-right, war in Cameroon and modern slavery in Pakistan.  Closer to home, I've reported on all sorts, including the UK's recent wave of industrial action and Brexit. I also write a monthly column and culture features for Die Zeit's English-language magazine, Spotlight.

Currently based in London, I do both print and broadcast – in English and French. Contact me here.

Recent work - World


Life on the edge for Turkey's fearful Syrian refugees

Irish Times (04/23)

Turkey has become a hostile environment for the 3.7 million Syrian refugees it hosts, most of whom have temporary protection ID cards, known as kimlic. The country operated a generous open-door policy after the Syrian war broke out in 2011, but as the economic crisis bites, hate crimes, racist rhetoric and bullying from officials have become the norm for many. 


Kılıçdaroğlu goes head to head with strongman Erdoğan 

Irish Times (04/23)

It’s set to be a close contest. Kılıçdaroğlu is leading the polls by a hair’s breadth but needs to convince voters that the decency he exudes in his campaign videos filmed in his modest kitchen and in posters featuring his earnest, bespectacled mien against a backdrop of pink blossom does not equate to weakness.


Turkey's earthquake survivors voice questions and fury 

Irish Times (04/23)

The building is barely standing, great chunks of concrete ripped from the front, a radiator hanging by a thin pipe from the fourth floor. Yet Alper Nedirli and his mother Sevim have just risked their lives, climbing to their quake-hit apartment on the second floor to retrieve a couple of bags of clothes, plates and cups, some pictures, and a rug. 


Finding light in darkness

The Photographer (Issue 3, 2023)

Focus on the work of Iraqi photographer Ayman al-Amiri. The son of a photographer, Amiri helped his father to document everyday life after the invasion – “in all sorts of situations, with water shortages, power cuts, a lack of food, the people crazy and scared.” 


Iran: Rap and the regime

Irish Times (04/23)

When rapper Toomaj Salehi shot to fame in Iran, tearing strips off the regime with his lacerating lyrics, people wondered if he was for real. Songs like Soorakh Moosh (Mousehole), in which he warned the regime and its stooges to find a hiding place before an imminent day of reckoning, were political dynamite ...


Iraq - 20 years on

Byline Times (03/23)

From Operation Iraqi Freedom to Iranian Domination. Twenty years on from 'Operation Iraqi Freedom', few people have much time for America. Hundreds of thousands died as a result of the invasion, the ensuing sectarian civil war and the emergence of the Islamic State .

But, these days, much of the blame for the country’s ills tends to be laid at Iran’s door.


Iraq's battle for the narrative

RTÉ World Report (02/23) @00:19

Twenty years ago, the world watched as a statue of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was pulled down on Baghdad’s Firdos Square, to the jubilant cheers of what seemed to be a massive crowd of locals. 

As it turned out, the spectacle had been jollied along by the US marines. Fast forward to 2023 and a very different story is being told on Firdos Square …


From ashes of conflict, Mosul University rises

University World News (03/23)

When Sayf Al-Ashqar was tasked with rebuilding the library of the University of Mosul in Iraq, he was given a free rein – but no cash. Islamic State had burned the prestigious library to the ground, destroying what remained of its vast collection of books and ancient manuscripts.


Michael Palin: Into Iraq 

Spotlight (03/23)

Michael Palin’s home office is just as you’d expect it to be, with a view over sunlit brick chimneys, old photos and postcards pinned to corkboard, walls lined with books ... and a copy of the 1958 Iraqi Constitution lying somewhere amid the clutter.

“Milk? Sugar?” asks the Monty Python star, making me a cup of coffee ...


'Muqtada' - The cleric who has Iraq in his grip

Irish Times (01/23)

Ask any Iraqi about politics and talk will soon turn to Muqtada al-Sadr. Widely known by the mononym “Muqtada”, he wields unparalleled clout as Shia cleric, militia boss and political leader. Often described as mercurial, his sudden shifts of mood and changes of mind have the country mesmerised.


Undaunted young Iraqis yearn for change

Irish Times (01/23)

The revolution is not over. Three years on from Iraq’s Tishreen – or October – uprising, which saw more than 600 protesters assassinated by security forces and Iran-backed militias, many of the movement’s young protesters are broken but far from unbowed.


'Iraq is now a teenage country'

Irish Times (01/23)

Twenty years on from the US-led invasion, three Iraqi artists explain how, after decades of being held back, they are taking back control of their country's narrative. Much of Iraq's story has been told in the West, deploying a visual shorthand of guns, bombs and oil derived from TV news, a dominant narrative that is hard to shift ...


Iraqis tire of Iranian influence

Irish Times (01/23)

Walking through Baghdad, you could easily be forgiven for thinking Iraqis are hell-bent on wreaking vengeance on the United States. At least, that was the message conveyed by the hanging of a cardboard cut-out of former president Donald Trump on Tahrir Square. But, taking to people on the street, a parallel, more convincing reality emerges ...


French teen seeks justice after policeman beats, urinates on him

Al Jazeera (11/22)

The latest in a long line of police abuses which have come to light in France in recent times, often targeting Black and Arab men, demonstrating what rights groups term systemic brutality and racism in its security forces.


Iran protests: 'We need the people to move and take down this government'

Irish Times (11/22)

On the Iran-Iraq border, Iranians speak out against Tehran's bloody crackdown on protesters, which has left hundreds dead.


'Prophet of God': Kurdish opposition groups feel wrath of under-pressure Iran

Irish Times (11/22)


Facing the gravest threat to its survival since 1979, the Islamic Republic is pointing the finger of blame for abroad, bombing Kurdish opposition bases in Iraq.

Recent work - UK


The King and Us

Spotlight (06/23)

God help the King.

When Charles is crowned on 6 May, the nation will officially enter a new era. The spell cast by his iconic mother, who somehow maintained the mystique of the royal family through scandal, ignominy, and a gazillion Megxit memes, will finally break …


The empire strikes back

Al Jazeera (03/23)

With Pakistani-origin Humza Yousaf in charge at Holyrood and Rishi Sunak, whose ancestors hail from India, leading at Westminster, it could be said that the United Kingdom is blazing a new trail in post-colonial history. For many, the irony of a Scots-Pakistani and a British Indian negotiating the partition of the UK is too compelling to ignore.


Who is Humza Yousaf?

Al Jazeera (03/23)

SNP bigwigs believe he is the man who can hold together an increasingly fractious party – now 16 years in power – while persuading a convincing majority of Scots to go it alone and leave the United Kingdom amid a deepening cost-of-living crisis.

But his rise comes just as the crisis-ridden SNP juggernaut has run into the sand. 


Is Britain broken?

Spotlight (03/22)


No future, no future, no future for you,” snarled the Sex Pistols in their hit song “God Save the Queen”. That was back in 1977, when Britain was known as the “sick man of Europe”. Fast forward to 2023 and Britain is in a right old mess again. Only it all seems a bit more apocalyptic … Can Britain bounce back? Or has it passed the point of no return, rushing towards a dystopian future, a place that looks a bit like George Orwell’s 1984, where nothing works and everything smells of cabbage?


From pandemic heroes to underpaid workers, UK bus drivers revolt

Al Jazeera (08/22)

In Southport, an old seaside town in the northwest of England, bus drivers congregated under a bus stop. They stood and chatted, one fiddled with a Rubik’s cube, and a couple held red flags, now three weeks into an acrimonious standoff with bus operator Arriva North West …

Selected from archives


Yazidi women and girls still enslaved

The Irish Times (08/21)

Around 2,800 women and girls enslaved by Islamic State are still missing.

It is thought that many of those who survived may be trapped in the increasingly dangerous Al-Hawl detention camp in northeast Syria.

(Photograph: Lolav Media/Ginestra Film)


Mosul’s new masters

The Irish Times (03/20)

After Isis, came the mafia. In Mosul, a jumbled assortment of Iran-backed militias, known collectively as the Hashd al-Shaabi, compete for their share of the spoils of war.


The vapers of Mosul 

BBC Radio 4 (03/20) @11.14mins

Out on the hustle with three buccaneering entrepreneurs, selling vapes in war-torn Mosul. Moslawis are born entrepreneurs. Given half the chance, they can make their city great again.


The best weapon against war in Iraq is a waistcoat

The Irish Times (10/19)

For the dapper young men at Mr Erbil, style is survival. In their emporium of hip, espressos are sipped and style flaunted as chaos and menace swirl outside. No talk of religion or politics permitted.


‘You live with these men as a slave. It’s free for them to do anything’

The Irish Times (10/19)

Naveen Rasho endured five years of hell at the hands of Islamic State. She survived the fall of the caliphate in Baghuz, only to face the fresh horror of detention at Al Hawl camp in Syria with her captor’s three brides.


‘We are only 1,000, but we fight like 10,000.’ 

The Irish Times (12/19)

In the hills of northern Iraq, I meet showman general Hussein Yazdanpanah, whose Iranian Kurdish fighters are fighting against a resurgent Islamic State and the Tehran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militias.


Global Ear: Dé:Nash

The Wire (08/19)

Hungarian rapper Dé:Nash mines his country’s collective consciousness, satirising the Fidesz regime’s use of ancient legend and historical grievances to craft a new national narrative.


’Licence to kill’

New Internationalist (05/19)

Cameroon’s bloody conflict between the regime and separatist rebels has been raging nearly three years. Government forces wield their ‘licence to kill’ liberally, with utter impunity.


Interview: Guinea-Bissau’s president

Al Jazeera (03/19)

José Mário Vaz, president of Guinea-Bissau, appeals to world for help in fighting the cocaine cartels that he says are still using the fragile state as a trafficking hub.


Inside Hungary’s post-truth laboratory

New Internationalist (08/18)


Pakistan’s bonded labourers fight back

The Irish Times (07/18)


Imran Khan battles conspiracies in Pakistan election

The Irish Times (07/18)


A kilo of cocaine

BBC Radio 4 (04/18)


Making honey from Africa’s killer bees

The Guardian (12/17)


Philip Taylor – La politique, je l’ai dans le sang 

Le Point (12/17)


Interview with Liberian president George Weah

The Irish Times (10/17)


Liberia’s forgotten child soldiers

Al Jazeera (10/17)


A dictator in the family

The New Statesman (02/17)


Trans people risk lives in Turkey

GlobalPost/PRI (12/16)


Interview with Gambian president

The Irish Times (12/16)


Lunch with Boris Johnson’s Turkish cousin

The Irish Times (05/16)


Being Muslim in France

Al Jazeera (12/15)


Paris attacks report

GlobalPost (11/15)


Fighting Russia’s propaganda machine

GlobalPost (08/15)


It’s a ‘No’ from Greece (07/15)


A prison without bars

Al Jazeera (03/15)


Making maple syrup

BBC News (05/14)


The crack-smoking mayor

BBC News (11/13)


Trouble in paradise

Noseweek South Africa (05/13)


Interview with Alex Salmond

La Presse (08/12)


In search of Philip Marlowe

The Montreal Gazette (05/12)


‘Illegal’ midwives on call

The Montreal Gazette (08/11)


Canada’s contraband capital

BBC (04/11)


Deadly Secret

Canada’s History (04/11)


Spirits of a community

The Montreal Gazette (02/11)


Holiday in Asbestos

The Guardian (05/10)


Chagos people press to return home

GlobalPost (09/10)


War and peace

Police Review (07/10)


Fighting for their identity

The Irish Times (07/10)


Holy rivalry over Kateri

The Montreal Gazette (03/10)

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