Ghazala Irshad is an award-winning multimedia journalist whose family has made the Quad Cities their home since 2002.
She began her career reporting on Iowa and Illinois politics for WVIK public radio in Rock Island before moving to the Middle East and Southeast Asia to become a freelance foreign correspondent.
After nearly 10 years reporting for major publications on revolutions, foreign policy, and human rights issues from Thailand to Egypt to South Africa to New York, Ghazala has returned to the QC to join WQAD as Digital Content Producer and host of a forthcoming weekly Facebook show.
Some of the highlights of Ghazala’s career include: investigating Egyptian police corruption in the looting of ancient artifacts from the pyramids after the Arab Spring; breaking bread with Libyan rebels in Benghazi as they celebrated freedom after Gaddafi was killed; surfing the waves with the first female surfers of Gaza and India; reporting on how poetry and photography are helping Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon; and producing stories for an international travel show about urban planning, gentrification, and infrastructure, and social entrepreneurship in the Philippines and South Africa.
Her work has appeared in The Guardian, Public Radio International, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Gawker, Roads & Kingdoms, and more.
Ghazala is excited to bring a big picture view to WQAD’s coverage of the diverse people living in America’s heartland. She’s particularly interested in telling stories about how people in eastern Iowa and western Illinois are impacted by issues related to agriculture, education, and the environment. She’s also enthusiastic about diversifying the current limited narrative of marginalized people in the area.
Ghazala has a Bachelor’s in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master’s in TV & Digital Journalism from the American University in Cairo, Egypt.
In her free time, she enjoys reading, art, photography, cooking, and going to live music shows.