Ilene was a staff writer for The Christian Science Monitor from 2000 to 2010, serving as the Boston-based newspaper’s bureau chief in Tokyo, Istanbul, and Jerusalem and covering the major conflicts of the past decade: Iraq and Afghanistan. She is now an independent journalist in Jerusalem. She also teaches Reporting Conflict for NYU-Tel Aviv, runs creative writing workshops, and writes Primigravida, a popular blog about motherhood. Her first novel, Baghdad Fixer, was published in November 2012 by Halban Publishers in London.
After graduating from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1993, Ilene started her career as a reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer. Later, she freelanced from the Middle East for Newsday, The New Republic, The Financial Times, The Guardian and The Observer (UK). Her book reviews and essays have been published in The Washington Post, Haaretz Books, Moment, Habitus, Zeek and Tikkun.
As part of her coverage of the major stories of the past decade in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel/Palestine, Ilene has been interviewed on CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN and NPR. Her coverage of Al-Qaeda’s escape from the American military in Afghanistan was cited in the 9/11 anniversary issue of The New Yorker. Ilene was nominated by the Monitor for a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for an investigative story on international organ trafficking, and she was the recipient of a United Nations Correspondents’ Club Award in 1998 for her coverage of post-war Somalia.
Raised in New York, she now lives in Jerusalem with her husband and two children.
ABOUT THE HOMEPAGE PHOTO: An Afghan grandmother and her granddaughter, made refugees by the war, returning to their home for the first time in several years. Author photo taken in the Shomali Valley, north of Kabul, Afghanistan in 2002, and featured on the front page of The Christian Science Monitor.