Crisis reporter Anna Badkhen speaks to OHS Leadership students

The OHS Leadership classes were visited by a unique and inspiring person on Oct. 5.

Her name is Anna Badkhen, a journalist for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Badkhen writes about people in extreme situations, has covered wars in Iraq, Somalia, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Chechnya and Kashmir, and most recently Afghanistan.

Upon the request of the Pulitzer Center that facilitated the grant that allowed her to report from Afghanistan this past year, Badkhen spoke about her experiences in conflict and war zones.
“I am honored to be telling these stories,” Badkhen said. “I like to think that these precious interactions, this knowledge, at times excruciatingly painful, at times joyful beyond imagining, are making me a better, wiser person.”

Badkhen’s preferred style of reporting is far different from most. Instead of collecting the facts and writing from her own perspective of the situation, Badkhen attempts to write from the perspective of her subjects, whether they be American soldiers or farmers in rural Afghanistan. She does this by traveling, eating, speaking, and simply living as those around her do.

Overall, Badkhen hopes that the students she spoke to will take the information she gave them and learn from it.

“The most important treasure, I think, is knowledge,” Badkhen said. “And so, I hope the stories I told of the people whose voices I amplify–my hosts, my fellow travelers, people I meet along the way in the Global South–will become part of a knowledge that will inform the students’ decisions, in some way, forever.”