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Atia Abawi (American author and television journalist) Bio, Facts 

Atia Abawi

Born/Date of Birth: 9 August 1982
Place of Birth: West Germany
Education: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Occupation: Author and journalist
Spouse(s): Conor Powell

Atia Abawi is an American author and television journalist. Previously working for NBC News and CNN as a foreign correspondent. She was based in Kabul, Afghanistan for almost five years. Her first book, the critically acclaimed "The Secret Sky: A Novel of Forbidden Love in Afghanistan" was published by Penguin Random House in September 2014. Abawi is known for her strong support for female empowerment in both her writing and reporting. She is fluent in Dari and is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Early life
Abawi was born in West Germany to Afghan parents who fled Afghanistan following the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan and was raised in the United States. After graduating from Virginia Tech, Abawi worked as a reporter CTV 76 –a local TV station in Largo, Maryland, before moving to Atlanta to work for CNN and then NBC News.

At CNN, Abawi started in the Media Operations department before working her way up to producer and then to foreign correspondent. In 2008, she was named CNN's Afghanistan correspondent and manager of its Kabul bureau. Before Afghanistan, she worked on several prominent international stories including the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the 2007 South Korean hostage crisis in Afghanistan and Youssif, the young Iraqi boy burned by insurgents in Iraq.

While in Afghanistan, Abawi embedded with U.S., NATO and Afghan forces numerous times -including during the major U.S and ISAF military operation in Marjah, Afghanistan in 2010.

Outside of Afghanistan, she was part of a CNN team that had to sneak into Myanmar to cover the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi. Abawi also led CNN's coverage from Jerusalem of the Gaza Flotilla attack of 2010 by Israeli forces.

NBC News
In 2010, NBC News hired Abawi as its Afghanistan correspondent and bureau chief. Additionally, she reported from London as part of NBC's Royal wedding coverage, and was a part of the NBC News special coverage following the U.S. raid that killed Osama Bin Laden- providing analysis and commentary. In 2012, Atia interviewed Afghan President Hamid Karzai - the first interview of the Afghan President for the network in a decade.

After nearly five years of living and working in Afghanistan, Abawi moved to Jerusalem in January 2013. In that year, she covered U.S. President Barack Obama's historic trip to Israel, the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état, and the Westgate shopping mall attack by Al-Shabaab militants among other stories.

Abawi has also written articles for the National Review and The Huffington Post about Islam and Afghanistan. Abawi has also spoken publicly about difficulty female journalists face in war zones and conflict areas.

The Secret Sky: A Novel of Forbidden Love in Afghanistan
Based on her experiences in Afghanistan, Penguin Books published Abawi's first book "The Secret Sky: A Novel of Forbidden Love in Afghanistan." The young adult novel follows the forbidden love of two young Afghans, Fatima, a Hazara girl, and Samiullah, a Pashtun boy. Based on people Abawi met while living in Afghanistan, "The Secret Sky" shows both the beauty and the violence in current-day Afghanistan as Fatima and Samiullah fight their families, their cultures and the Taliban to stay together.

"The Secret Sky" has received acclaim for its accurate portrayal of Afghanistan, Islamic fundamentalism and for including diverse characters especially a strong female. The Amelia Bloomer Project included "The Secret Sky" on its 2015 list of books that provide a "glimpse at the diverse experiences of girls and women globally."

"The Secret Sky" was selected by the UK newspaper The Guardian as one of seven young adult novels that show the lives of teens across the world.

Publishers Weekly gave it a prestigious starred review calling it "a suspenseful, enlightening, and hopeful love story." According to Publishers Weekly, initial feedback of "The Secret Sky" from Afghan-Americans was "positive, yet Abawi felt some trepidation about potentially negative reactions to the novel, which is understandable given that, as a journalist, she has received death threats for writing articles about abused women."

While Kirkus Reviews said "The Secret Sky" has a "riveting plot, sympathetic characters and straightforward narration studded with vivid, authentic detail: a top choice."

Bustle listed "The Secret Sky" as one of "10 Young Adult Romance Novels Feminists Will Swoon Over," for its combination of "feminism" and "romance."

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
In December 2016, Penguin's Philomel Books announced Abawi's second novel, "A Land of Permanent Goodbyes."

Set in war-torn Syria, "A Land of Permanent Goodbyes" centers on "Tareq, a Syrian teenager who, after losing most of his family in an airstrike, begins a harrowing journey with his sister to Europe.”

"A Land of Permanent Goodbyes" will be released on January 2018 and has received early positive reviews, earning three separate starred views.

With Kirkus Reviews describing it as an "unforgettable novel that brings readers to face to face with the global refugee crisis. A heartbreaking, haunting, and necessary story."

While Publishers Weekly called "A Land of Permanent Goodbyes" a "gripping and heartrending novel...and an upsetting yet beautifully rendered portrayal of an ongoing humanitarian crisis.".

And School Library Journal said "Abawi skillfully places humanity enmeshed in war into two sides: the 'hunters' who feed on the suffering and the 'helpers' who lend a hand. An inspiring, timely, and must-have account about the Syrian refugee disaster and the perils of all wars."

The New York Times Book Review called it "A heartbreaking fictional front row seat to the Syrian refugee emergency."

"A Land of Permanent Goodbyes" was chosen by both Kirkus Reviews and Amazon as one of 2018 best Young Adult books of the year. While the All Iowa Reading program selected it as its 2019 Young Adult book.

Personal life
Atia is married to former Fox News Foreign Correspondent Conor Powell. They were married on July 7, 2012 in Leesburg, Virginia While at Virginia Tech, Abawi was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority.

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Categories: 1982 births,American women novelists,American television journalists,21st-century American novelists,21st-century American women writers,American women non-fiction writers,21st-century American non-fiction writers,American women television journalists

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