Laila El-Haddad is a talented blogger, political analyst, social activist, and parent-of-two from Gaza. She earned a B.A. from Duke University and MPP from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She and her two young children spend as much time in Gaza as they can– but her spouse, a Palestinian physician who grew up in a refugee camp in Lebanon, is not allowed by Israel to enter Gaza. He’s an assistant professor of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins Medical School, so El-Haddad and their children spend much of their time with him in Maryland, too.
From 2003-2006, El-Haddad was the Gaza stringer for the Al-Jazeera English website. She contributes regularly to the BBC and the Guardian Unlimited. She has made two Gaza-based documentaries for Al-Jazeera International and has contributed to the Beit-Sahur based Alternative Tourism Guide’s Palestine guidebook. She has also written for The New Statesman, The Daily Star, Electronic Intifada, Le monde diplomatique, Pacifica Radio, and many other media outlets.
A running theme in El-Haddad’s writing is the personalization of the situation of Gazans and Palestinians, a topic to which she brings her characteristic wry humor and introspective humanity about her daily life and those of other Gazans.
Since November 2004, she has authored an award-winning blog now known as Gazamom (previously named “Raising Yousuf: A Diary of a Mother Under Occupation”.)