Navai was nominated for her brave and revealing film Undercover Syria, which she made in October 2011 for Channel 4’s Unreported World series. Determined to expose the brutal truth behind President Assad’s regime, Navai spent two weeks living with activists who organised anti-regime demonstrations in some of the most dangerous parts of Syria.
Undercover Syria is one of 18 documentaries that Navai has made for Unreported World and at the time of writing she is filming in Honduras. Past films include El Salvador: The Child Assassins, Zimbabwe’s Blood Diamonds, Burundi: Boys Behind Bars and Breaking Into Israel, which she made in June 2011 to document the plight of African immigrants crossing Israel’s borders.
Speaking of her experience on Undercover Syria, Navai said: “Living with the activists was like living as a fugitive. In some places, you couldn’t even go out to buy bread, it was too dangerous. And in Douma we had to be smuggled in, as it was surrounded by security forces and loyalist militia.”
Navai was previously Tehran correspondent for The Times where she covered the Bam earthquake, the escalating nuclear crisis, presidential elections, political demonstrations and human rights abuses.
She has reported direct from Afghanistan; covered the refugee crisis in Iraqi Kurdistan and the Kashmiri earthquake in Pakistan, as well as writing for The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Independent.
“It’s not always about reporting on the worst of humanity; amidst killing and torture I have been the most moved and inspired that I have ever been,” she said.
Navai graduated from City University London’s MA in broadcast journalism in 2002. She was shortlisted for a One World Media award and the Amnesty International Gaby Rado Award in 2009.
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