- Trip: Fellows Fall 1998
- Affiliation during program: Toledo Blade
- Country: Gaza
- Year: 1998
Betsy Hiel has been the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s foreign correspondent since April 2000. Based in Cairo, she has reported from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, and she covered the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens and the Winter Games in Turin, Italy in 2006.
In 2009 and 2008, Ms. Hiel reported from Pakistan on the aftermath of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, parliamentary elections, the new government and the rise of the Pakistani Taliban. In 2008, she also embedded with the 101st Airborne soldiers and covered the war in Afghanistan from combat outposts just a few miles from the Pakistani border. She covered the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and continued to report from there in 2003-2008, including a series on Saddam Hussein’s mass graves. She covered the war between Israeli and Hizbullah in 2006 and the 2nd Palestinian Intifada in 2000-2001. She covered the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks from Cairo.
She received a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s degree in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and has studied at the American University in Cairo and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is the author of the chapter: Camaraderie, Clothes and Qat in Encounters with the Middle East, Solas House 2007. She is co-author of the book: The Islamic Revival since 1988: A Critical Survey and Annotated Bibliography, and was a contributor to the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. She is fluent in written and spoken Arabic.
Her reporting on the Middle East won the national 2000 Edward Weintal Award for Diplomatic Reporting from Georgetown University. In 2009, she was a finalist for the Medill Medal of Courage in Journalism for her reports from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.