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Deborah Campbell has spent more than a decade reporting from such places as Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, the UAE, Israel-Palestine, Mexico, Cuba, and Russia. Her writing has appeared in Harper’sThe EconomistThe GuardianNew ScientistForeign Policy, and The Walrus, and she is the recipient of three National Magazine Awards. Campbell teaches at the University of British Columbia and lives in Vancouver.


Deborah Campbell and her award-winning memoir "A Disappearance in Damascus"

Award History

2016 Winner

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
for A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War

Jury Citation

“In a seamless blend of storytelling and reportage, Deborah Campbell’s A Disappearance in Damascus draws us into the struggles of Iraqi refugees settled in Syria after the fall of Baghdad. The principal character, an Iraqi ‘fixer’ who is also a grieving mother and a nurturing humanitarian, is taken by secret police. Campbell’s account of the search to find her, written with compelling prose, nuanced context, and intimate narration, illuminates the dangers of life and work in a conflict zone through a riveting tale of courage, loss, love, and friendship.” – 2016 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury (Carolyn Abraham, Stephen Kimber, and Emily Urquhart)