Responses from the media

"Journalist presents about reporting on international conflicts," Marielle Temkin, October 19, 2010, The Justice.

"Breaking bread, defying borders," Josh Kelly, October 15, 2010, The Hoot.

"Finding human decency in dangerous places," Barbara Howard, October 12, 2010, BrandeisNOW.

Anna Badkhen,
  war-zone correspondent

Social Justice Leadership Series
October 13, 2010

Anna Badkhen, war-zone journalist and author of the new book "Peace Meals: Candy-Wrapped Kalashnikovs and Other War Stories," (Free Press, October 12, 2010) will vividly describe the intimate but fleeting friendships (and ordinary pleasures) that carried her through danger, deprivation, and the strange experience of bearing public witness to extreme forms of suffering. While her book focuses on food and those with whom she shared intimate meals with, its clear spotlight is on the goodness of ordinary people celebrating the joys of life in the midst of disaster and death.

Badkhen's personal history is as compelling as the stories she covers. Growing up in Russia--with all its associated privations--she came to the United States via some of the world's most dangerous war and disaster zones. She will explain what inspired her to embark on her career in war reporting and share her experiences covering Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Chechnya and Kashmir. 
Badkhen now lives in Massachusetts. Her reporting has appeared in The New Republic, Foreign Policy, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, Frontline/World, and other publications.

(Photo of Anna Badkhen by Kael Alford.)

Praise for "Peace Meals"

"'Peace Meals' is an extraordinary mosaic built of keen observation and uncommon compassion. So much more than mere war reportage, Badkhen attunes her ear to fundamental questions that war time activities: what are the causes of hate and what are the measurable and immeasurable costs of war? What does it mean to resist, to persist, and when is it worth it? Badkhen maintains an unswerving gaze not only at the complex subject matters she investigates but also at her own role as a reporter.... She describes a profound generosity evidenced with astonishing regularity. It comes in the most humble and necessary of human acts: eating."

--Gina Ochsner, author of "The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight"

"Anna Badkhen writes about war with a beautiful sensuality, connecting us to those otherwise nameless, faceless fighters and indigenous peoples ensnared in its horrors and hardships. 'Peace Meals' takes us into these people's kitchens, and into their souls."

--Norman Ollestad, author of New York Times bestseller "Crazy for the Storm"

"Anna Badkhen is a hero among women-war correspondent, wife, mother, diplomat, and, with the publication of this book, a sensitive and lyrical human-interest reporter from the outer reaches of the world. 'Peace Meals' takes us not only into the hearts and homes of some of the least-understood (and most interesting) people in war zones, it fearlessly explores the wrenching moral conflicts every war journalist faces. This is a beautiful, vivid, gripping book-with some fabulous recipes."

--Amy Chua, author of "World on Fire and Day of Empire"

Cosponsored by the Brandeis Black Student Organization, College Democrats, Cultural Production Program, Democracy for America, Department of Sociology, Health: Science, Society, and Policy Program, International and Global Studies, International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life, Interfaith Chaplaincy of Brandeis, Journalism Program at Brandeis, Office of the Provost, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Brandeis, Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies, Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Social Justice and Social Policy Program, Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Women’s Studies Research Center.