All She Lost: The Explosion in Lebanon, the Collapse of a Nation and the Women who Survive (Hardcover)

All She Lost: The Explosion in Lebanon, the Collapse of a Nation and the Women who Survive By Dalal Mawad Cover Image

All She Lost: The Explosion in Lebanon, the Collapse of a Nation and the Women who Survive (Hardcover)

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'Poignant and compelling… will resonate with anyone who cares about justice and the abuse of power' - Lindsey Hilsum, Channel 4 News International Editor and author of Sandstorm

'Essential and urgent' - Kim Ghattas, journalist and author of Black Wave


Lebanon and the wider Middle East is in crisis. For this extraordinary book, journalist Dalal Mawad conducted a series of searing interviews with women in Lebanon - weaving an extraordinary story of survival, corruption and impunity.

On August 4 2020, a huge explosion in the heart of Beirut killed hundreds of people – it was the apocalypse of a sequence of events that have led to Lebanon's unprecedented collapse. Award-winning journalist Dalal Mawad was in Lebanon when the blast happened, and was one of the first journalists to report on the mysterious and devastating explosion.

During her reporting, she discovered something else – that it is the women who stay behind, and it is through their stories that the history of the Middle East must be re-constructed. She set out to record the stories of those she met, the women long discriminated against, and those whose stories are untold.

She spoke to mothers who lost their children, spouses who lost their partners, refugee women who have fled from the war in Syria – and who now find themselves in another failing state. We hear from the Lebanese grandmother, bankrupted by the small nation's collapse, who remembers Beirut's glory days of the 1960s – when the likes of Brigitte Bardot and Miles Davis came to Beirut. And then the women like Dalal herself, who have left their home behind.

The women in this book all experienced the explosion and suffered unimaginable loss and tragedy, but it is not just this one event that brings them together. Their personal stories converged to tell the story of a nation whose glory days are long gone, now riven by protracted violence, lurching from crisis to crisis, and fighting to survive. It tells not only of what these women have lost, but also what Lebanon has lost, and a part of the Middle East that is no more.

Dalal Mawad is an independent award-winning Lebanese journalist based in Paris, France. She is working as freelance producer for CNN in Paris and as a part-time journalism professor at Sciences Po. Mawad was a senior producer with the Associated Press based in Lebanon when twin blasts rocked Beirut on August 4th 2020. She extensively covered the explosion and its aftermath as well as Lebanon's economic and financial crisis since 2019. Her AP bylines have been published in the Washington Post and New York Times.

Mawad is the winner of the Samir Kassir Award for the Freedom of the Press in 2020 for her short film on a transgender woman in Lebanon, and was a finalist in 2012 for an investigative story on Lebanon's Jews. Mawad has also worked as a regional video producer for the United Nations Refugee Agency covering displacement in the Middle East and the world. Previous to her work at the UN, she was an on-air reporter with LBCI, a Lebanese broadcaster, where she mainly covered human rights and gender-based violence.

She has a Master's degree in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics and another Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University in New York where she was awarded the Joan Konner award for outstanding reporting for Television and Radio. She is fluent in Arabic, French, English and Spanish.

Product Details ISBN: 9781399406253
ISBN-10: 1399406256
Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum
Publication Date: January 9th, 2024
Pages: 256
Language: English

All She Lost is a courageous and essential piece of journalism. It is a documentation of one of the most scandalous disasters of this century so far, including the corruption and negligence of Lebanon's leadership, and the human stories of those most affected by grave wrongdoing, for which there has still been no justice. Mawad approached this book in a unique way: through interviews with only women and girls, but of every age and background. She is honest about her own emotions throughout and her connection to the crisis, while being thorough with her reporting. I've never seen recent history written like this before and I hugely admire it.” —Sally Hayden, author of My Fourth Time, We Drowned and journalist for the Irish Times

A poignant and compelling account of the collapse of a state. By putting the voices of women at the centre, Dalal Mawad has found a way of telling the tragic story of the Beirut blast and the failure of the Lebanese political class that will resonate with anyone who cares about justice and the abuse of power.” —Lindsey Hilsum, Channel 4 News International Editor and author of Sandstorm

“In her essential and urgent book, Dalal Mawad bears testament to the collapse of Lebanon. Told through the voices of courageous women, this oral history is also warning to all nations that let impunity seep through their foundations.” —Kim Ghattas, journalist and author of Black Wave

All She Lost gives voice not just to the women who endured Lebanon's catastrophic port explosion but reveals the burden they have carried for years. Their testimony is heartbreaking and horrifying, each story uniquely shocking. An important account by women of their country's decline and collapse.” —Quentin Somerville, BBC Middle East Correspondent

“The hitherto untold stories of women in Lebanon expose the crisis-hit country's story of trauma upon trauma without respite. In this sensitive and striking collective memoir, Dalal Mawad gives a voice to those who bear the brunt of the economic and political implosion characterising their homeland's modern collapse.” —Anoosh Chakelian, Britain Editor of the New Statesman

A deeply important, compelling and moving account of a dark moment in Lebanon's history, beautifully told through gripping personal stories of Lebanese women. Dalal Mawad does not just tell the story of Lebanon, but the story of women and the Middle East.” —Ramita Navai, Emmy and Robert F. Kennedy award-winning journalist and author of City of Lies

A beautiful new voice for the unheard.” —Janine di Giovanni, journalist and author of The Morning They Came For Us

A painful but necessary book that recounts, with both great compassion and artistry, yet another fatal episode of Lebanon's serial tragedies. No one has told HERstory better and deeper than Dalal Mawad.” —Joumana Haddad, author of I Killed Scheherazade

“This is a deeply reported and powerful account on the collapse of a country. The testimony that Lebanese journalist Dalal Mawad has gathered is remarkable - and her empathy for all the woman she interviewed shines through on every page. This is a book that will stay with me long after I finished reading it.” —Martin Patience, Senior Producer at NPR

“Dalal Mawad's book on Lebanon is deeply personal– as a little girl, she was swept up in her country's turmoil and later, as a journalist she covered a succession of cataclysmic events. While her own painful experiences vividly frame her writing, it is the astonishing accounts of the women she features that illuminate Lebanon's dark history with their struggle for justice and dignity. An emotionally gripping and enlightening journey.” —Melissa Fleming, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, and author of A Hope More Powerful than the Sea

“A heart-wrenching portrait of endurance and perseverance [...] a nuanced and compassionate account of the deadly explosion on Aug. 4, 2020.” —Publishers Weekly

“...at its best, the book is deeply researched and profoundly moving.” —Kirkus Reviews