Atia Abawi is a foreign correspondent and author based in the Middle East.
From an early age, Atia knew she wanted to be a journalist. After graduating from Virginia Tech, where she anchored the college’s local television station VTTV, Atia volunteered and was then hired on at CTV 76 –a local TV station in Largo, MD. In Maryland, Atia covered a wide range of stories – from politics to the impact that drugs and crime had on the local community – before moving to Atlanta to work for CNN.
At CNN, she started in the Media Operations department before making her way to the international desk. Within 2-years Atia was out in the field, producing on stories that included Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in Pakistan and the war in Iraq. A year-later she was hired to be CNN’s Afghanistan correspondent and manager of its Kabul bureau – an operation that she organized and set up.
In Afghanistan, Atia spent time traveling and embedding with U.S., NATO and Afghan forces -including during major military operations. She has also interviewed numerous Afghan, International, and American politicians and generals.
Outside of Afghanistan, Atia reported on various international stories for CNN -including the Aung San Suu Kyi trial – where she had to sneak into Myanmar’s military state and film covertly – and the Gaza Flotilla attack of 2010 by Israeli forces.
In 2010, NBC News hired Atia to report and manage its operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, she also reported from London as part of NBC’s Royal wedding coverage, and was a part of the NBC News special report after the US raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, providing analysis and commentary. She was also able to obtain an NBC Exclusive interview with President Hamid Karzai in 2012 – the first for the network in a decade.
After nearly 5-years of living in Afghanistan, Atia moved to Jerusalem in January 2013. In that year, she covered President Barack Obama’s historic trip to Israel and Palestine, the military coup in Egypt, and the Kenyan mall siege by Al-Shabab militants among other stories.
Atia’s first book, “The Secret Sky: A Novel of Forbidden Love in Afghanistan” will be published by Philomel, an imprint of Penguin Group, in September 2014.
Atia Abawi graduated from Virginia Tech and was most recently awarded their Outstanding Alumna honor. She is fluent in Dari and Farsi. Born in Germany, she moved to America at the age of one, growing up in Fairfax County, Virginia. Atia is married to FOX News Correspondent Conor Powell.
‘ An eye-opening, heart-rending tale of love, honor and betrayal from foreign news correspondent Atia Abawi’
‘Fatima is a Hazara girl, raised to be obedient and dutiful. Samiullah is a Pashtun boy raised to defend the traditions of his tribe. They were not meant to fall in love. But they do. And the story that follows 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. Based on the people Atia Abawi met and the events she covered during her nearly five years in Afghanistan, this stunning novel is a must- read for anyone who has lived during America’s War in Afghanistan’.
Atia Abawi personal website: atiaabawi.com