British-born, award-winning journalist Yvonne Ridley is well known in the Muslim world for her outspoken views and defence of Islam. She endeared herself to Muslims around the world when she reverted to Islam two years after making international headlines when she was captured by the Taleban on an undercover assignment in Afghanistan. She was a senior reporter of the Sunday Express at the time, having spent nearly 10 years in Fleet Street working for several prestige titles including The Sunday Times, The Observer, Daily Mirror and Independent on Sunday.
Ridley is also the author of two books, an international speaker and authority on the War on Terror, conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya and is well travelled in most of these countries. She has also travelled extensively across the Maghreb.
She describes herself as a life-long feminist and promoter of equality for women regardless of their faith or beliefs.
In recent years she was invited to join a grassroots peace initiative for Sudan and Darfur launched by Lord Nazir Ahmed which is ongoing in the region. Much of her humanitarian work is focussed in Palestine and Gaza in particular as well as Pakistan. She is also a patron of the London-based NGO Cageprisoners and the patron of the UK-based Noor charity which focusses on domestic violence.
Since she embarked on film-making several of her documentaries have won awards and recognition at international film festivals through her production company First Witness.
“Among the many shining stars, of the European flag, we would like to radiate our light,contributing to the development, prosperity and general peace, of our beloved european land”.
Ambassador Alfredo Maiolese