About Hanna Resch

Freelance journalist
video, Audio & print

The key moment that led me to pursue journalism as a profession occurred 2014 in Ramallah. My interest in the Israel-Palestine conflict had brought me to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Birzeit University in the Westbank for summer study programs. Two weeks after my arrival in Birzeit, the most violent protests and military crackdowns since the Second Intifada erupted. Trying to observe and learn as much as possible from the rapidly escalating situation, I was one day caught in the crossfire and had to watch as a teenaged boy was shot in the head right next to me. No one reported on the incident.

Shaped by these experiences and personally encouraged by Gershon Baskin, the negotiator for the release of the Israeli Soldier Gilad Shalit and my lecturer at Hebrew University, I dedicated myself to the understanding of such conflicts. I wanted to learn enough to feel confident to contribute to a well balanced and knowledge based reporting. Telling the stories that aren’t heard enough. To avoid superficial and often distorting reporting from the Middle East I dedicated a lot of energy and time into studying the history, language and other important aspects of the region.

 The support of my professors, my academic performance and my voluntary work with refugees helped me to win a scholarship with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES). The scholarship enabled me to start a second degree in political science parallel to my Arabic studies degree. I also engaged in the FES work group on Middle Eastern affairs as its spokeswoman for three years.

In 2016/2017 I lived in Beirut and was able to study at the American University with a full scholarship for a full academic year. It was there, in the International Security course, that my interests in diplomacy, area studies and counterterrorism came neatly together, and I finished the course top of my class. I felt that a masters in the field of Security Studies would enable me to better identify, understand and analyse critical national and international security issues. So I started my Master degree Terrorism, Security and Society at the King’s College London and finished it in fall 2019.

The Middle East has been a second home for me in the past years. Apart from my academic education, over the years, I had the chance to meet with seasoned journalists, engaged with religious leaders as well as militia fighters in different countries and learned the most from the personal stories of people behind the headlines. I participated in religious events such as Ashura in Southern Lebanon and travelled to Iraqi Kurdistan, to meet with German soldiers and learn about the region and its people.

I have left academia for a year of freelancing, followed by a two year multimedia traineeship in Journalism for the Bayerischer Rundfunk (German public broadcaster). Since then I’ve published my first documentaries, worked as a correspondent multiple times in Israel and Palestine.