Souad Mekhennet was born in Germany as the daughter of a Turkish mother and a Moroccan father. As a child she lived in Morocco for three years.
Most time she works as a reporter for the Washington Post Newspaper, German TV channel ZDF and Daily Best. “Lifting the Veil” tells stories of hope, fear and the real life of Muslims throughout the world as Muslim countries undergo dramatic and traumatic changes. With the Middle East, Northern Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan troubled by change and rebellion, Souad Mekhennet concludes what these changes mean for those regions, and defines the challenges they present for Muslims in the West.
Since shortly after September 11 she has been reporting about radical Islamic movements. She is a visiting fellow at the Weatherhead Centre at Harvard University, and at the School for Advanced and International Studies (SAIS) at the John Hopkins University.
Souad Mekhennet was selected a 2014 Young Global Leader: The World Economic Forum honors the most exceptional leaders under the age of 40 from around the world.
In 2013 she was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University where she researched the “long-term strategies of terrorist organizations since the Arab Spring”. Between 2004 and 2012, and before her Nieman fellowship, she worked as a reporter for the New York Times.
As a member of the investigative unit at The New York Times she covered subjects like war zones, terrorist attacks and the ‘war of terror’, including deportations and human rights abuses.
She was one of two reporters who broke the story of Khaled el Masri’s extradition case and worked on a series called “Inside the Jihad” for which she and her colleagues interviewed members of radical jihadist organizations all over the world.
Currently she is a moderator and public speaker and works for the Washington Post Newspaper and German TV channel ZDF and has herself been interviewed for various TV and radio shows in the US and Europe.
Helping the next generation of Muslims in the West is one of her other passions, and she has taught and lectured at Harvard University, City University of New York - School of Journalism as well as at the university of Hamburg.
Souad Mekhennet holds degrees in international relations, political sciences, sociology, psychology and history from the University of Frankfurt in Germany. She also attended the Henri-Nannen school of journalism in Hamburg and took classes at the City University of New York - School of Journalism.
More than five years ago, Nicholas Kulish and I wrote a story about Dr. Aribert Heim, the world’s most wanted Nazi fugitive. For decades, authorities from all over the world had been hunting the former SS physician. Dr. Heim had been accused of terrible crimes, and we discovered that he had lived in hiding in a working class district of Cairo in Egypt under the name of Tarek Hussein Farid after converting to Islam.
CAIRO – Even at old age, the impressively tall and athletic German known to locals as Tarek Hussein Farid retained the discipline to walk some 15 miles every day through the busy streets of Egypt’s capital. He walked to the world-famous Al Azhar mosque where he had converted to Islam, and further on downtown to the opulently decorated J. Groppi Café where he ordered chocolate cakes for friends and candy for their children – children who called him Uncle Tarek.
Friends and acquaintances in Egypt also remember him as a passionate amateur photographer who was nearly always seen wearing a camera around his neck, but who never allowed anyone to take a photo of him. For good reason: Uncle Tarek was born as Aribert Ferdinand Heim and served as a member of Hitler’s elite Waffen-SS, and a doctor at the the Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and Mauthausen concentration camps. It was behind the grey stone walls of Mauthausen in his home country of Austria where Dr. Heim committed the atrocities against hundreds of Jews and others that earned him the nickname of “Dr. Death”. Until 2008 the Simon Wiesenthal Center named him as the most-wanted Nazi war criminal …
Dr. Heim was accused of performing operations on prisoners without anesthesia such as removing organs from healthy persons’ bodies and then leaving them to die on the operating table, or injecting lethal substances (e.g. gasoline) directly into human hearts. He is known for having kept at least one of his victims’ skulls as a souvenir. Undiscovered by Nazi hunters for over a decade after World War II he lived in the German spa town of Baden-Baden with his wife and two sons where he worked as a gynecologist in his own medical practice. In 1962 he just about escaped his persecutors, and his hiding place as well as his death in 1992, remained unknown until now.
More about "The Eternal Nazi"
→ Randomhouse will publish the book on March 25. Go to Randomhouse.
→ Have a look at the book launch trailer and the article that started it all in The New York Times.
Suicide attacks, terrorism, honor killings, intolerance towards the different-minded: Islam is becoming discredited as a religion of violence. Souad Mekhennet and Michael Hanfeld are tracing the true nature of this religion beyond radicalism.
What really defines Islam?
Is it just about violence and terrorism as we constantly learn from the media?
The two authors address the distorted picture of Islam which falsifies the real nature of this religion with a high degree of expertise. This book is an important contribution to improving communication, peace and understanding between different cultures.
When asked what he wants to become later on during a razzia, a five-year-old in the south of Germany answered: ‘I want to go to the Holy War and kill non-believers, like my father’.
Is this an individual case? No. Hundreds of thousands of Muslim teenagers are becoming radical; as well as in other parts of the world, the second and third generation of immigrants in Europe are often more radical than their parents. In addition to a failed integration policy a network of Islamism that uses the internet to press ahead with radicalism can be blamed.
The authors describe the alarming biographies of young men who grew up and lived integrated in Europe before becoming terrorists. They managed to do research in the most important German Koran school run by the Taliban and report on what is being taught there.
They explain why young Muslims think that Osama bin Laden is “their Che Guevara”.