Hesna Al Ghaoui
Photo: Gálos Viktor
Hesna Al Ghaoui, a Prima Primissima Award-Winning Journalist, editor and reporter, author
Over the past years she has been the correspondent of the Hungarian Television and has reported the world from more than 20 countries among them from several combat zones. The reports have been awarded a number of prestigious national and international Prizes. She has also shot documentaries, among others the one about the causes of child mortality in Uganda or about the challenges of the international aid system in Afghanistan. Throughout her career, she has interviewed prestigious personalities, such as Pope Shenuda III., Israeli President Shimon Peres, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanjahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Mousa, and world-famous experts like social psychologist Elliot Aronson, psychologist Philip Zimbardo and social psychologist Anthony Pratkanis.
In 2010 she wrote a book about her experiences gained on the front line, having the title of “On the Land of War”. Her own TV program Babel - The World with Hesna - has shown fascinating life stories during its 37 episodes. The journalist has been observing the appalling physical and mental effects of fear not only in combat zones but also in more peaceful countries. Therefore, she started to address the issue more thoroughly.
She looked for researches in order to study what happens in our brain and in our muscles when we feel fear and she also asked world famous social psychologists about how we can realize when fear disingenuously starts to control our habits and behaviour. She has discovered an incredible research about stress: that not only stress is able to affect our body and mind but it also works vice versa: we can learn to influence the physiological processes and their effects on our body. Basically, there is no slice of our lives which would not lead us somehow back to the issue of fear. Based on her experiences and interviews related to this theme, she wrote a book having the title of “Fear Bravely” published by Bookline in October 2017. Following this she was invited to give a talk about her theme to dozens of cultural centers and companies (like Microsoft, Bosch, Samsung, Mercedes, Richter Gedeon, Citybank). Having talked to many people about the issue of fear – and raising two little children of her own – she realized how important it would be to address the children, too, with this topic, as fear is many times a taboo for the kids. So she wrote and illustrated her latest book, Holli, the Hero, about a little girl, who learns how to handle fear and difficult situations, thanks to a little monster, who teaches her that fear help us overcome difficult situations. She learns that it is totally ok to be afraid, what matters is what we channel this emotion.