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Jomana Karadsheh

Jomana Karadsheh

Jomana Karadsheh is a journalist based in Libya. She is an international correspondent based in CNN's Istanbul Bureau. She has reported extensively from across the Middle East and North Africa including Iraq and Syria.[13].


Karadsheh attended Lebanese American University. [5] [1]


Based in Iraq between 2005-2011, Karadsheh began her career at CNN's Baghdad bureau as a producer and reporter and covered major news events including the trials and execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Iraq's first democratic elections and the withdrawal of US forces from the country. Karadsheh was one of a number of CNN correspondents on the ground in Iraq in 2014 and 2015 reporting extensively on the rise of ISIS and the battle to recapture cities from the terror group. [13]

Reporting from Libya

Karadsheh was part of CNN's award-winning teams in 2011 covering the events of the Arab Spring across the region in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria.[13]

She was among a group of foreign journalists held hostage in August 2011 by loyalists to former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli. Karadsheh was recognized for her role in negotiating the release of the group. [13]

Speaking to Anderson Cooper on Anderson Cooper 360°, Karadsheh explained that she and other Arabic-speaking colleagues spent time talking, drinking tea and building rapport with one of the friendlier gunmen who took time to check in on the journalists.[15]

She described a turning point when the desperate situation turned more violent, and the journalists became absolutely unwilling to remain in the hotel for another day.

"We really did not feel safe," she said, recalling sniper bullets coming in through the windows.

"So I just sat with him, I just sat on the floor and I looked at him and I’m like 'We need to get out of here.'"[15]

She told the gunman that she missed her family and seized her opportunity sensing that he could relate.

She said, "I knew he was going through that because he hadn’t seen his family for days and he was telling me and other journalists about his five children."


Karadsheh recalled, "He got all teary when I was telling him that i miss my family and he said, 'OK, let’s try to get you out of here.'"[15]

Later that year Karadsheh returned to Tripoli and was based there until 2014 when inter-militia fighting spread across the capital and destroyed the main airport.

During her time in Libya, Karadsheh covered stories including the capture and trial of Saif al-Islam Gadhafi and Libya's first post Gadhafi democratic elections.

In September 2012 Karadsheh was the only American TV journalist on the ground in Libya reporting live as the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was unfolding. In October of 2013 US Special Forces grabbed former Al-Qaeda operative Abu Anas al-Libi in a raid in Tripoli. Hours after the capture of the man described by US officials as "one of the world's most wanted terrorists", Karadsheh sat down for an Exclusive CNN interview with his wife at the family's home in the Libyan capital. [13]

Karadsheh has also reported from a number of Gulf Arab states on major stories including coverage from Doha of the Saudi led blockade in 2017, covering the historic day in Saudi Arabia in 2018 as the ban on women driving was lifted in addition to reporting out of CNN's regional hub in Abu Dhabi in 2013. [13]

Reporting from Syria

In recent years Karadsheh has been one of CNN's correspondents consistently covering the war in Syria and the refugee crisis in neighboring countries. She made multiple trips to regime-controlled Syria including the capital Damascus during her time as a producer. [13]

Karadsheh was part of the CNN team who covered the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi mission in Istanbul. Less than 24 hours following Khashoggi's disappearance after entering the consulate, Karadsheh was one of the first journalists on the scene interviewing Khashoggi's fiancé and reporting live from outside the building- before the world's press descended on the location.[13]

Social Media

As of January 2020, Jomana has over 1,000 followers on her jomanacnn Instagram account. She mostly posts her work and travel photos as well as photos with friends and family. She also has over 24,000 followers on her JomanaCNN Twitter account. She often shares her articles on Twitter and comments on current political events.[1][14]

Personal Life

She is married and has one child.

[6] Karadsheh is also a native of Jordan who is fluent in Arabic and English. [5]


Citation Linktwitter.comJomana Karadsheh on Twitter
Feb 6, 2018, 10:17 AM
Citation Linkyoutube.comCNN International HD: "This is CNN" promo - Jomana Karadsheh
Feb 6, 2018, 10:17 AM
Feb 6, 2018, 10:18 AM
Citation Linkyoutube.comSIS claims responsibility for attacks in Iraq
Feb 6, 2018, 10:18 AM
Citation Linklinkedin.comJomana Karadsheh on LinkedIn
Feb 6, 2018, 10:19 AM
Citation Linkfacebook.comJomana Karadsheh on Facebook
Feb 6, 2018, 10:21 AM
Citation Linkywqaugeunhowzrcj.public.blob.vercel-storage.comReporting
Feb 6, 2018, 10:26 AM
Citation Linkywqaugeunhowzrcj.public.blob.vercel-storage.comJomana Karadsheh pictured with her husband
Feb 6, 2018, 10:30 AM
Citation Linkywqaugeunhowzrcj.public.blob.vercel-storage.comReporting on CNN
Feb 6, 2018, 10:41 AM
Citation Linkywqaugeunhowzrcj.public.blob.vercel-storage.comCNN International HD: "This is CNN" promo - Jomana Karadsheh
Feb 6, 2018, 10:17 AM
Citation Linkywqaugeunhowzrcj.public.blob.vercel-storage.comSYRIAN EID CELEBRATIONS IN JORDAN
Feb 6, 2018, 10:18 AM
Citation Linkywqaugeunhowzrcj.public.blob.vercel-storage.comSIS claims responsibility for attacks in Iraq
Feb 6, 2018, 10:18 AM
Citation Linkedition.cnn.comJomana's profile on CNN
Jan 6, 2020, 7:42 PM
Citation Linkwww.instagram.comJomana on Instagram
Jan 6, 2020, 8:08 PM
Citation Linkwww.huffpost.comCNN’s Jomana Karadsheh On How She Convinced Gunmen To Free Journalists From Rixos Hotel (VIDEO)
Jan 6, 2020, 8:14 PM