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Hadani Ditmars

Hadani Ditmars

Author, journalist, and photographer Hadani Ditmars has reported from Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, and Iraq, often examining the human costs of sectarian strife as well as cultural resistance to war, occupation and embargo.
Currently, Hadani is a co-editor at the New Internationalist magazine.
She was stationed in Beirut for nine months in 1992 working on an interactive theatre/video project that brought together displaced Muslim and Christian children, wrote for the first joint Israeli-Palestinian magazine post Oslo accord in 1994 era Jerusalem, and continues to report from the occupied territories on cultural and political issues. She traveled to Iran for Sight and Sound and Vogue magazine in 1997 (when Rafsanjani was in power), reporting on gender issues, politics and cinema.
Hadani’s work, which has also taken her to Zanzibar, Guatemala, Colombia, Egypt, Ireland, Indonesia, Italy, India, Jordan, Tunisia and Uzbekistan, has been published in the New York Times, the London Independent, The Globe and Mail, Newsweek, Time, Maclean's and Ms. Magazine and broadcast on CBC and BBC radio and television.
Hadani has been a regular CBC Radio’s Dispatches contributor since the show’s debut in 2001. She was also a regular current affairs commentator on Rogers OMNI television program The Standard.
Her best selling book Dancing in the No Fly Zone (chosen by the Globe and Mail as one of 100 best and most influential books of 2005) recounts her time in Iraq from 1997 until the fall of 2003 and is one of the few recent books on the troubled nation that covers pre and post invasion reality. As Iraq continues to weather violent occupation, theocratic thuggism and civil strife, Dancing in the No-Fly Zone serves as an eerily prescient tribute to a culture and a people at the breaking point. Hadani’s next book focuses on her return to Israel/Palestine and Lebanon a decade and half after her first sojourns there.

often in transit
Outside of Canada


Dancing in the No Fly Zone: a Woman's Journey Through Iraq. Raincoast, 2005
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

Hadani Ditmars is an international journalist based in Canada and the author of the bestseller, 'Dancing in the No Fly Zone: a Woman’s Journey Through Iraq' (Arris Books), a book that provides a unique perspective on the troubled nation both before and after the US invasion. Ditmars, an independent reporter whose mixed European and Middle Eastern ancestry often allowed her to pass as an Iraqi, dared to traverse the distance that separates most Western journalists from their subjects, traveling between two cultural worlds in sometimes dangerous and revealing ways. Unlike her male colleagues, her gender also allowed her a connection with Iraqi women, whose struggle she continues to voice. Hadani is a compelling speaker whose presentations have been described as both provocative and evocative, informative and insightful, moving and hard hitting. She uses humor and pathos, anecdotes and reportage, words and images to convey both the tragedy and the beauty of contemporary Iraq. Not to be missed by anyone who cares deeply about the fate of Iraq and civilization itself
For school audiences, Hadani uses slides and video presentations as well as excerpts from her book to educate Canadian youth about the realities of life in a war zone. Many of the subjects - both photographic and narrative- in Dancing in the No Fly Zone, are children and teens who convey their direct experience of life under siege.

Presentation Length:
Creative non-fiction/Narrative Journalism
Audience Size:
any size
Workshop Description:

Hadani can also lead writings workshops for young people based around her book and her experience reporting from war zones.

Exercises include visualizing what their lives might be like if they lived in conflict zones and writing first person narratives.

Content wise the workshops combine aspects of both English and Social Studies.

Workshops can also involve presentation of video and photographic material that demonstrate the link between visual note taking and writing, and offer participants a glimpse into the book writing process.