It is a mystery: how do you land in the Middle East and leave with a story in your notebook. How do you choose the people you need to talk to, and why their little story is relevant. I really understood the horror of ISIS by listening to two women explaining how in Raqqa, women police bite to death women who do not properly wear the veil. Very often, truth comes from people who do not have a voice, who don´t exist. I never met a president, a sheikh or a general speaking honestly about what is really going on in a place in conflict. But I did find an illiterate kid, in a frontline ghetto of Northern Lebanon who told me: “This is not about religion. It´s about politics”.
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Journalist and Author
Imma Vitelli is an International Correspondent of Vanity Fair Italy. She joined Vanity Fair covering the 33-day Israeli war against Lebanon in the summer of 2006; ever since she has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and many other countries. She covered the Arab Spring in Tunisia and in Egypt and was one of the first foreign reporters to travel to Benghazi to tell the story of the beginning of the Libyan revolution. She was born in Matera, Italy, in 1970, and has a Master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University, New York. After spending one year in Cairo and eight years in Beirut, she is currently based in Rome.