Abdo, an author and analyst, is the Liaison for the
United Nationís Alliance of Civilizations, a project
created by the UN Secretary General to improve relations
between Western and Islamic societies.
Ms. Abdo has just completed a new book, which will
be published in late August by Oxford University Press. Mecca
and Main Street: Muslim Life in America After 9/11 (Oxford
University Press; ISBN: 0-19-531171X; $27.00; 9/11/2006)
is the first detailed, investigative work of the Muslim
community in the United States since the attacks of
September 11, 2001.
Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Abdo was a
journalist. Her 20-year journalism career centered
upon coverage of the Middle East and the Islamic world.
From 1998-2001 Ms. Abdo was the Iran correspondent
for the British newspaper, The Guardian, and a regular
contributor to The Economist. She was the first American
journalist to be based in Tehran since the United States
cut off ties with Iran in the aftermath of the 1979
Islamic Revolution. Her insightful stories over nearly
three years, ranging from interviews with jailed dissents,
student rebels, and clerics under house arrest, revealed
the inner workings of a regime shrouded in secrecy.
The stories, which made international headlines, prompted
published threats of imprisonment by the government.
Ms. Abdo was forced to flee the country in 2001, and
is not allowed to return.
From 1992-1993, Ms. Abdo was based in Cairo as the
the Middle East correspondent for The Dallas Morning
News. During her assignment, she reported from Algeria,
Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and the Persian Gulf. From 1990-1992,
Ms. Abdo worked as a correspondent based in Moscow
for Reuters. From there, Ms. Abdo traveled on assignments
to Central Asia, Afghanistan and Georgia.
Ms. Abdoís commentaries and essays on Islam have appeared
in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Washington
Quarterly, The International Herald Tribune, The New
Republic, The Nation, The Christian Science Monitor,
and Middle East Report. She has been a commentator
on Now with Bill Moyers, National Public Radio, the
BBC, the Jim Lehrer News Hour, Oprah, the Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation, CNN, and other radio and
Ms. Abdo is the author of No
God but God: Egypt and the Triumph of Islam (Oxford
University Press, 2000), a work that documents the
social and political transformation of Egypt into
an Islamic society. The book was the first to detail
the leading figures and events responsible for giving
moderate Islamists in Egypt enormous social and political
power. Ms. Abdo is the co-author of Answering
Only to God: Faith and Freedom in Twenty-First Century
Iran (Henry Holt, 2003), a book that explains
the theological struggle in Iran among the Shiite
clerics and how this struggle has caused political
stagnation. Answering Only to God predicted the recent
takeover of the Iranian regime by hard-liners.
From 2001-2002, Ms. Abdo was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard
University. That year, Ms. Abdo also received a prestigious
John Simon Guggenheim fellowship. Ms. Abdo has also
earned research grants from the Ford Foundation and
the U.S. Institute of Peace.