Three Faces of War –The English Lady
Lindsey Hilsum, Our Woman in Damascus
She does her job with typically understated bravery. To meet her, you might think (for a moment) that this headscarved and very English lady is, perhaps, a headmistress, a rose grower or possibly something a bit nebulous in the arts.
But this is Lindsey Hilsum. The woman for whom the expression sang-froid might have been invented. Specialising in remaining imperturbable under fire, and always meeting her deadline.
As International Editor for Britain’s Channel 4 News, she reported from Belgrade in 1999 when NATO bombed Serbia, from Baghdad during the 2003 US invasion, and covered the Fallujah assault in November 2004. Her reports from Africa, the Middle East and Russia have earned her many awards. In 1994, she was the only English-speaking journalist in Rwanda when the genocide started.
It’s an obvious question, but we still want to know – what’s it like being a woman in the front line? How do you cope when your friend and colleague, Marie Colvin, dies covering the siege of Homs in Syria? And – when you come back from the world’s most perilous places, having seen things that no normal person should ever see – how do you sleep at night?
Tonight, fresh from Damascus, Lindsey joins us in London to help us make sense of Crimea, Syria – and the genesis of Isis.
This is the second of our three-part series to commemorate Remembrance Day. In our next and final show, we hear from one of the world’s most elite warriors – who has turned his back on war, and is now an activist for peace.