City Beat, New York

Samar Nader: UN Correspondent

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Lebanese-American journalist Samar Nader has worked in many scopes of storytelling over the course of her career. As a broadcast reporter, newspaper publisher, and filmmaker, she has viewed and reported on national and global stories through multiple different lenses.

Born in Lebanon, the New York-based journalist has remained connected with her native Lebanese roots, often traveling to her home country for family visits and international assignments. She travels frequently, and has become fluent in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish.

Today, Nader serves as an official correspondent for United Nations Security Council Meetings and other high-profile UN events, a position she’s held since January 2007. Since 2008, she’s also worked as newspaper reporter for El-Nashra newspaper, and as a TV correspondent for New TV, Al-Jadeed, a 24-hour Pan-Arab station based in the Middle East. She previously worked as an international correspondent for Radio Canada International.

In 2013, Nader owned the copyrights to Al-Mohajer newspaper, an internationally recognized news outlet, and the oldest known newspaper for the Lebanese diaspora. Nader revived the publication more than 100 years after its distribution ended with assistance from the World Lebanese Cultural Union and her colleagues Walid and Frances Mourani. World-renowned philosopher Gibran Khalil Gibran wrote in the newspaper in the early 20th century. Nader admired Gibran’s work and reintroduced the newspaper in honor of her father, who was battling cancer at the time.

Nader highlighted diaspora successes, activities, and social dilemmas, quickly growing the publication as a source of research for the Lebanese Foreign Ministry and its Consulates and Embassies around the globe.

As a lifelong storyteller, Nader prefers to work behind the camera. Growing up in Lebanon, Nader dreamed of becoming a movie producer and director, but her family urged her to enter a profession outside of the arts. Her mother, a retired Arabic literature professor, influenced her career choice and storytelling talents. Nader also credits her grandfather, a city-wide school director, Lebanese poet, and famed English translator, for impacting her career.

Nonetheless, as she matured, Nader returned to her early passions, writing and producing her own film which chronicled historic stories of Lebanese-American emigration. Nader created a docudrama where she interviewed elderly figures, over 100 years old, who narrated their arrival to America and the challenges they faced. The film, called Olympia, is named after Nader’s grandmother, who immigrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1920.

In her free time, Nader is an avid volleyball player and swimmer. She also enjoys serving the Lebanese communities as an event organizer and emcee for special ceremonies. She previously hosted the annual Miss Lebanon competition for two years, and more than 20 pageants recognizing women in various Lebanese cities.

Nader is also the founder of three non-governmental organizations, including two in Lebanon, and one part of the United Nations. She launched the UN Arab Ladies Club along with fellow journalist Khawla Nazzal and Her Excellency Saja Majali, Permanent Representative of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the U.N. Geneva. Until now, the organization ahs honored more than 10 Lebanese and Arab poets and writers.

Today, Nader is working to document the stories of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. She has worked on a series of stories, which highlight the plight of refugees in the Lebanese public school system, and human rights violations against women and girls. She is also working with high-profile officials within the church to shed light on the dilemmas of Christians in the Middle East. Nader said these issues have made her emotionally drawn to participate in more advocacy work.

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