Nahlah Ayed named new host of CBC Radio One ‘Ideas’

Longtime CBC foreign correspondent Nahlah Ayed will succeed Paul Kennedy as the new host of CBC Radio One's Ideas, starting in September.

Nahlah Ayed will succeed Paul Kennedy as the new host of CBC Radio One’s Ideas, starting in September.

Kennedy, who announced earlier this year he would step down at the end of this season, has hosted the long-running program exploring contemporary thought since 1999 when he succeeded Lister Sinclair. This week, June 24-28, will be Kennedy’s last of original shows, in which he’ll revisit documentaries and projects from his four decades as a contributor and host, including his first documentary for Ideas, The Fur Trade Revisited (1977).

Ayed is an award-winning foreign correspondent for CBC News. Based in London for the last seven years, she’s covered world events over nearly two decades from Europe to Bangladesh, Pyongyang, Donetsk, New Delhi, Iraq and Tehran, in addition to the war in Afghanistan.

CBC says as producer and host, Ayed will chase new ideas and challenge diverse perspectives alongside listeners.

“Nahlah has traveled the globe covering major world events. We welcome her home to Canada, and look forward to her unique perspective, and to watch her build on the accomplishments of Paul Kennedy,” said Cathy Perry, Senior Director of CBC Talk Radio.

“I have dedicated my career to discovering the world, covering some of its most intense moments. I had the rare privilege of witnessing monumental events up close, learning about the ideas and movements transforming the world first hand,” said Ayed. “While I’ve investigated the why, how, what, when and where, I’ve had a burning ambition to go deeper.  I am passionate about the opportunity to finally connect the disparate dots, and to marshal all my energy to uncover the critical ‘why’.

“Paul Kennedy took listeners on incredible journeys into thought that always promise a surprise or two. These are the reasons I have been an Ideas listener for years,” added Ayed.

Born into a Palestinian family in Winnipeg, Ayed started her journalism career as a parliamentary reporter for The Canadian Press. She joined the CBC in 2002. Ayed published her first book A Thousand Farewells in 2012 – a personal chronicle that includes the story of how her family left their home in suburban Winnipeg when she was six years old and relocated to a refugee camp in Amman, Jordan over her father’s concerns that his children were becoming too “westernized.” Eventually they returned after seven years when Ayed was 13. The events of the first Gulf War reignited her interest in the politics of the Middle East.

Ideas airs weekdays on CBC Radio at 9 p.m. ET (9:30 p.m. NT) and repeats weekdays at 4 a.m. ET (4:30 a.m. NT). 


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