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Amien Essif

I became a journalist not just to observe the world but to help change it. I believe that real progress is built on facts: what really happened, not what we wished had happened.

Born in:
Dijon, France

English, French, German

Degrees/Journalistic experience:

  • Bachelors in English Literature and French Studies from the University of Tennessee and the University of Montpellier III
  • Reported on protests and the labor movement in Chicago for In These Times magazine and wrote essays for the Guardian and Aljazeera.
  • DW Traineeship, 2016-2018
  • Reporter, editor, and presenter at DW News since 2018

With DW since:

A favorite quote:
“Ideology does not reside primarily in stories invented by those in power to deceive others, it resides in stories invented by subjects to deceive themselves.” - Slavoj Zizek


My personal hero:
Allen Ginsberg, who lived the fullest life and who is proof enough for me that there are from time to time new things under the sun.


What do I strive to be as a journalist?
An iconoclast. Every hero deserves scrutiny, every answer deserves another question.


7 images that I can’t get out of my head:

  • Hamburg on fire during the G20 summit protests in 2017
  • The Guardian’s US election map on the morning of November 8, 2016
  • The vast and desolate sea between Libya and Lampedusa
  • Six of Monet’s “Stacks of Wheat” side-by-side at the Art Institute of Chicago
  • The debris left on stage after a production of Hamlet in Avignon
  • The World Trade Center towers billowing smoke
  • The planet Saturn. Most people don’t know you can see it in all its glory through a cheap telescope - and there’s a lesson in that for journalists