CNN Digital has launched a 6-part interactive series called Return to Mosul, reported by veteran international correspondent Arwa Damon.
It was a return to Iraq for Damon after another reporting trip back in November when she and her cameraman Brice Laine were trapped for 28 hours inside a house in Mosul as ISIS troops closed in.
Damon returned to Mosul to reconnect with the Iraqi soldiers they were traveling with as well as the family that sheltered them during the attack. One of the family members who sheltered Damon and Laine back in November named their granddaughter after her.
“I was stunned. I was simply stunned,” Damon told TVNewser. “I have never been honored in such a way. And in some ways it was such a clear reminder of why it is that I am so attached to Iraq.”
Damon was born in Boston, to an American father and Syrian-born mother. She spent her early years in Massachusetts before the family moved to Morocco and then Istanbul. After the 9/11 attacks she decided to become a journalist. She moved to Baghdad just before the start of the war in 2003.
“Despite the violence that is constantly in the headlines, there is a purity to the kindness of the Iraqi people,” she said. “There is a hospitality that emerges even in the middle of the firefight. There is compassion toward strangers.” Damon says having little Arwa named for her “epitomizes all of that.”
The digital series complements Damon’s hour-long special that aired on CNNI over the weekend.