SOAS University of London

About SOAS

Zeinab Badawi

Zeinab Badawi

A highly respected television and radio journalist, Zeinab Badawi is currently the presenter of World News Today, one of the BBC World News’ flagship news and analysis programmes.

Born in Sudan in October 1959, Ms Badawi has lived in the UK since the age of three. Her great-grandfather, Sheikh Babiker Badri, fought against Kitchener's British forces at the Battle of Omdurman in 1898 and pioneered women's education in Sudan.  Ms Badawi’s father was a newspaper editor in Sudan, and when the family moved to the UK he joined the BBC’s Arabic Service.

Ms Badawi was educated at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, where she graduated with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. After Oxford she joined Yorkshire Television, where she worked as a researcher and reporter on political, local news and documentary programmes from 1982 to 1986.

In 1988 she moved back to London to pursue an MA at SOAS in Politics and Anthropology of the Middle East, graduating with Distinction in 1989. In London she  began to work for Channel 4 as a newscaster. She served as news anchor there  until 1999, when she joined the BBC as presenter and reporter for Westminster live political programmes. Ms Badawi also presented ‘The World Tonight’ on BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service’s ‘Newshour’. In 2005 she became the presenter of ‘The World’ (now World News Today), the UK’s first daily news bulletin devoted to international news, broadcast on BBC Four.

She is a regular presenter of BBC interview programme HARDtalk.  In an exclusive interview in May 2009, Ms Badawi interviewed Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir, the first serving head of state to be charged with alleged war crimes.

Ms Badawi is founder and Chair of the Africa Medical Partnership Fund (AfriMed), a charity which aims to help local medical professionals in Africa.

In November 2009 she was named International TV Personality of the Year by the Association for International Broadcasting in the Annual Media Awards. She speaks fluent Arabic and is married with two sons and two daughters.