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Arab Americans

Hala Gorani

Hala Gorani

Hala Basha-Gorani[1] (Arabicهالة باشا غوراني‎) (born 1 March 1970) is a French raised Syrian-American, CNN International London-based Anchor and Correspondent. She anchors CNN’s The World Right Now with Hala Gorani on weeknights[2] at 9p.m. CET.[3] Gorani co-hosted Your World Today with Jim Clancy until February 2009 and then International Desk until April 2014 from CNN‘s Atlanta headquarters.

Personal life

Gorani was born in 1970 in SeattleWashington.[4] According to her, she comes from “quite an international background[…] I’m a U.S. citizen with Syrian and Frenchparents.”[5]

Gorani was mainly raised in Paris, France. She has also lived in Algeria. Her name “Ha’la” is a common Arabic name meaning “Corona”. She earned a Bachelor of Science in economics from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., and graduated from the Institut d’études politiques (better known as Sciences Po) in Paris in 1995.[4]

In addition, Gorani speaks several languages, including EnglishFrench and Arabic. She considers Paris her home, which is also where her mother resides.[6] From 2008 to 2014 she was based at the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, when in this last year she moved back to London.[4]

French novelist Yann Moix also dedicated his first novel Jubilations Vers le Ciel to her in 1996.


Gorani began her career as a reporter for La Voix du Nord and Agence France-Presse before joining France 3 in 1994. After a stint at Bloomberg Television in London, she joined CNN in 1998 as an anchor for CNN International’s European breakfast show, ‘CNN Today’. She has since reported from every country in the Middle East, including Saudi ArabiaIraqIsraelJordan and the Palestinian territories. In November 2005, Gorani was one of the first television reporters on the ground in Amman, Jordan after Al Qaeda suicide bombers attacked two hotels. Earlier in 2005 she had covered Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan from Gaza. In 2006, she covered the2006 Lebanon-Israel war in the summer of 2006 from Lebanon, which earned CNN an Edward R. Murrow Award.[7] In 2002 and in 2007, she led CNN’s coverage of the respective French presidential elections.[7]

Gorani was one of the CNN journalists awarded a News and Documentary Emmy for the network’s coverage of the 2011 Egyptian revolution that led to the ouster of the country’s then president, Hosni Mubarak. In January 2015, she covered from Paris the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo shooting.

Gorani also covered the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake, for which CNN’s coverage was recognized with a Golden Nymph award – one of the highest honors in international journalism – at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival last year. In addition to her anchoring duties, Gorani often goes into the field to report on major breaking news stories. In late June she was part of a small team of journalists allowed into Syria for the first time since the protests began to cover the situation there. She previously reported extensively from Jordan and Egypt and her coverage of the Arab Spring helped CNN win a Peabody Award in 2012.[8]

In 2008 Gorani attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and moderated the closing session that featured several business and political leaders including Tony BlairNobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel and JP Morgan Chase & Co. Chairman and CEO James Dimon. Gorani formerly hosted ‘Inside the Middle East’ on CNN International, the monthly show featuring stories on the most important social, political and cultural issues in the region. During her five years as host, she reported on several colorful and thought-provoking stories including poverty in oil-rich Bahrain; everyday struggles for artists living in Iraq; and gay life in the Middle East, which was a first on international television and earned a nomination for a Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) award.

Gorani has interviewed Jimmy CarterTony BlairAmr MoussaRafik HaririSaeb ErakatNouri al-MalikiEhud Barak, the Dalai LamaShimon Peres and Carla Bruni, among others.[9] Gorani avoids discussing her political and religious views, citing the need for professional neutrality.[1]

In May 2015, Gorani was awarded an honorary doctorate by George Mason University and delivered the commencement address to that year’s graduation students.