Al Jazeera International, the 24-hour English-language news and current affairs channel, headquartered in Doha, announced today that they have appointed Ghida Fakhry as lead female news anchor at their Washington DC broadcast centre. ���Ghida Fakhry is an accomplished on air and print journalist, in both English and Arabic, with extensive international experience, which makes her the ideal candidate for our goal of reaching a global audience hungry for news that offers analysis and context. We are overjoyed to have her as a member of the Washington team,� said Washington D.C. bureau chief, Will Stebbins, on her appointment. Since 2004, Fakhry has been the New York Bureau Chief of the pan-Arab daily Asharq Al Awsat published in London, and was a Columnist for the newspaper. From 2002 to 2004, Fakhry was lead anchor on the flagship Evening News broadcast from London for the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation-Al Hayat news joint venture. In addition to covering the events leading up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 from LBC’s headquarters in Beirut, Fakhry conducted exclusive in-depth interviews in Washington D.C. with U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, and Secretary of State, Colin Powell, as well as several other senior State Department and Pentagon officials. She further reported on location from Baghdad and Kabul in the summer of 2003 while travelling with Rumsfeld during his first trip to Iraq after the US-led invasion and covered his visit to the Abu Ghraib prison. Fakhry also worked for the Al Jazeera Channel (Arabic language service) as its New York Bureau Chief from 2000 to late 2001. During this time she covered the attacks of September 11 and their aftermath, reporting from Ground Zero on the rescue and relief operations. With a career spanning 10 years of political journalism in television and print, Fakhry, who started her television career as New York Correspondent of Abu Dhabi Television, has also reported extensively from the United Nations, accompanying Secretary-General Kofi Annan on several trips to the Middle East and North Africa. In 1998, she was part of the first group of journalists who flew into Baghdad to cover the stand-off between the UN and the Iraqi government following the withdrawal of the UN’s weapons inspectors from Iraq. For several years, she covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and interviewed the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, at his headquarters in Ramallah. She reported from Washington on the Bush and Clinton administrations�۪ efforts to mediate between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Fakhry has further appeared as a political analyst on CNNI, BBC World, ABC News, and MSNBC and has published Op-Eds in the International Herald Tribune and the Financial Times. “What I find most exciting and challenging about Al Jazeera International is that, for the first time, a television network from the developing world will break the monopoly over 24-hour global television news in English and provide viewers the world over with an alternative source of information and analysis ��� more critical and less Western-centric. I am thrilled to be part of this journalistic challenge,� said Fakhry on her appointment. Born in Beirut, she holds an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) and an M.A. in International Relations from Boston University. She is fluent in English, Arabic and French and speaks conversational Spanish.