As a senior writer and copy editor for CNN Headline News and anchor for CNN International, Asieh Namdar is one of the most recognized faces in news television today.
Asieh was born in Karachi to Iranian parents. She grew up in Tehran and speaks fluent Farsi. Her family came to the US after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, where she continued her education. Asieh graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, where she earned a bachelor's degree in communications.
Having joined CNN in 1989 as a video journalist, Asieh has held many positions at the world's most trusted news source. These include producing her own segment, reporting on the Middle East conflict, and interviewing world leaders such as former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. In 2004, she traveled to Iran to report on the devastating earthquake in the ancient city of Bam.
Asieh applies a tremendous amount of discipline to her private and personal life. A dedicated mother and passionate reporter Asieh brings balance, credibility and integrity to her work.
We had a chance to talk to her recently:
PersianMirror: Tell us a little about yourself.
Asieh Namdar: I grew up in Tehran until I was 12. In Tehran, I attended a catholic school, called Soheil. We moved to Piedmont, California right after the Revolution. Piedmont is near Berkeley, east of San Francisco. I attended a public middle school and high school in California. I graduated from University of California at Berkeley.
PM: What were your first impressions of the US?
AN: I was terrified. I barely spoke English, and had many lonely days in school. The hostage crisis didn’t make matters any easier. Let’s just say, I was not the most popular kid in school.
PM: What made you decide to work as a journalist?
AN: I was stunned how unaware people were about other parts of the world, especially Iran. Something snapped early on, that I wanted to inform people.
PM: What do you love about being a journalist, writer, producer and anchor at CNN?
AN: In a very small way, I feel I make a difference. Whether it is writing or anchoring, I feel I have a huge responsibility to be accurate and fair. I’m more sensitive when it comes to stories out of Iran. I feel strongly about informing people about the Iran most of us know, its ancient history, culture and its people.
PM: What do you find most challenging about the job?
AN: Having to work during all major holidays when the rest of the world is not. And also the strange hours and time away from my family.
PM: How do you maintain balance in your reporting, given your background and the state of US-Iran relations.
AN: Like any other story, you try to be fair and bring all sides of the story. Of course, I have a deep connection to Iran and get frustrated at times because of the way Iran is portrayed. I always make a distinction between the government and the people. And if there are good opportunities to cover successful Iranians who are trying to make a difference, I try to spotlight their efforts with pieces on CNN.
PM: What do you wish for Iran from a personal perspective?