Farnaz Fassihi is the deputy bureau chief of Middle East and Africa for The Wall Street Journal and the author of Waiting for An Ordinary Day, a memoir of her four years covering the Iraq war and witnessing the unraveling of life for Iraqi citizens.
She was born May 25, 1971 in the United States to Iranian parents and grew up in Tehran, Iran and Portland, Oregon. She received a B.A. in English from Tehran University and an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Fassihi is widely known for penning a famous email in 2004 about the deteriorating situation in Iraq, which was hailed as the first unvarnished account of the war. The email was published in newspapers, websites and blogs around the world and became the subject of a Doonesbury cartoon. Her email is included in an anthology of historical letters written by American women, Women’s Letters, America from the Revolutionary War to the Present.
She contributed an essay about the Iraq war and propaganda in the book, What Orwell Didn’t Know, Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics.
In May 2006, she was awarded the prestigious Henry Pringle Lecture Award for her Iraq coverage by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Her coverage of the EgyptAir flight 990 crash won the New England News Executive Award as well as a finalist nomination for the Livingston Award.
She has been a guest speaker at numerous panels and journalism classes and a commentator for television and radio news shows on CNN, MSNBC, BBC, WNYC, PBS and National Public Radio.
Prior to joining the Journal, she was an investigative reporter and roving foreign correspondent for The Star-Ledger of Newark, NJ, a local news reporter for The Providence Journal in Rhode Island and a stringer for The New York Times in Iran and New York City.
She covered the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center from the foot of the collapsed towers and then followed the story to Afghanistan. She has covered three wars and has reported extensively from the Middle East.