x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Life Lessons: reporter Hala Gorani stays positive amid the daily grind

Hala Gornai, the award-winning CNN journalist, shares her philosophies on life.

Hala Gorani, anchor and correspondent for CNN International. Courtesy CNN International
Hala Gorani, anchor and correspondent for CNN International. Courtesy CNN International

Hala Gorani, 42, is a prize-winning anchor and correspondent for CNN International and is based at the network's headquarters in Atlanta. Born to Syrian parents in Seattle and raised in Paris, she has reported from every country in the Middle East. She speaks English, French and Arabic.

1. Stay in touch with friends and family. I travel a lot and I've moved many times over the last few years, but there are few things in life that make me happier than connecting with lifelong friends. It's a real effort when there is so much distance between us, but I put that effort in. It may mean taking a step back from work but it is always worth it. And it matters more.

2. Know your subject inside out. Continue studying and learning even when you think you know a topic well. Stay hyper-aware that there is always more to learn. Maybe it's my French education, but I've always loved writing things down with pen and paper in a notebook: facts, statistics, possible ways of looking at a story. For me, the best way to truly think about something in depth is to write about it. I also force myself to read novels (not non-fiction because I do that all day at work). I make the time.

3. Find yourself beautiful/attractive today. It's cliche but confident people are simply more appealing than people riddled with doubts. It's not about physical beauty but inner confidence: it invites people into your world. And as far as outer beauty is concerned, believe me, in 10 years, you'll think you're gorgeous in all your old pictures.

4. Don't stop caring about injustice. It's easy to get jaded in this business, but I never allow myself to forget that there is persecution, oppression and racism every day and in every country. I never forget it and consider it my responsibility as a journalist to share those stories with the world and to hold people in positions of power accountable for what they do.

5. Be happy. Make it a choice. As someone once said: "Nobody really cares if you're miserable", so might as well not be.