Louisa Waugh in Conversation

August 18, 2020


Louisa has lived and worked in central Asia, the Middle East and in Central and West Africa. In Mongolia, she was a correspondent for the BBC World Service, before moving to a remote village in the Western Altai Mountains. Several years later, she moved to the Palestinian Gaza Strip, where she worked for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. In the Central African Republic, where she lived for two and half years, Louisa managed a complex peace building and dialogue project amidst a violent political conflict, before moving to Mali as a country director for an international peace-building organisation, International Alert. Louisa has also worked in armed violence reduction, coordinating programs across West Africa for the Danish De-Mining Group. She now works as a senior conflict adviser for Saferworld, specialising in refugee and migrant rights, and the political conflicts across the Sahel. Louisa’s writing career reflects these diverse interests: her first book Hearing Birds Fly about her time in the Mongolian village, won the inaugural Ondaataje prize. Her second book Selling Olga, was a ground breaking investigation into human trafficking across Europe and the Balkans. Her third book, Meet Me in Gaza, explores the lives of ordinary Gazans: fishermen, shopkeepers, farmers, and the odd acrobat, with jokes and pathos.

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