CHICAGO: From Emmy Award-winning journalist and former CNN anchor Hala Gorani comes “But You Don’t Look Arab and Other Tales of Unbelonging,” a newly released autobiography that delves deep into her career and complex family history. Blending her personal and professional life as a daughter of Syrian immigrants and a correspondent who has traveled to all corners of the globe, Gorani combs through experiences that have shaped her future and career. Centered around her journey into discovering the world through politics and her own roots, Gorani — a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, woman of Middle Eastern origin — must find her place in all the places she has felt like the “other,” such as Aleppo, Syria, her parent’s homeland; Seattle, Washington, where she was born; Paris, France, where she was raised; London, England, where she began her journalistic journey; and Atlanta and Washington, where she spent much of her career.

Gorani has been able to compile her life and career through interviewing her family, reading back through decades of notes, speaking to her colleagues, and relying on her memories. Her book begins in 2010, in Port-au-Prince after the Haiti Earthquake. At the Napoli Inn Hotel, first-response teams are attempting to rescue a man who has been trapped inside a building for eleven hours. There, Gorani finds a man who happens to be from Aleppo. “Two uprooted Syrians meeting in an unlikely place,” she writes as those are the connections that further deepen Gorani’s determination to discover herself.

Through old diaries, Gorani discovers Georgian roots in a village called Abkhazia, an Ottoman protectorate on the Black Sea. From there, the story moves to Istanbul until 1909 when her family leaves and lands in Aleppo, an Ottoman province at that time.

Gorani’s career has taught her how to observe, witness and report. As an ambitious journalist, one who wanted to move up the ladder and would sometimes whitewash her own history to blend in, she found herself decades later with a career that has seen her navigate the globe. Her recollections of the past and politics bounce between her youth and career, between jobs and positions, countries and assignments, and personal and professional events, helping her solidify her footing in the pursuit of discovering herself and the stories that make the world go round.

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