Medyan is a British-Palestinian award-winning journalist, photographer, war correspondent, filmmaker, and film documentary producer. Medyan was born in Palestine but left the country at a young age. He studied journalism and photography in the United Kingdom. He is a member of the International Union of Journalists, the National Union of Journalists, Reporters without Borders, and the Frontline Club. He has won many awards for his work and is recognised globally.
Medyan has covered many wars all over the world, in countries such as Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, South Sudan, Somalia, as well as in some other African countries. While spending months in these areas covering the conflicts, he has often lived with and followed several rebel groups in combat. As CNN has highlighted “He is well known for his work in dangerous conflict areas all over the world and at the heart of the battle, from where he has produced reports, images, and documentaries. He has often gained unique access to complex war-torn areas in Africa and the Middle East, and he has reported and filmed rebel movements and jihadist organisations from the mountains of Afghanistan, to Sierra Leone in West Africa”.
Medyan was one of the first war correspondent to enter Libya to cover the 2011 military intervention in the country. He remained for the entire duration of the fighting against Colonel Ghaddafi’s government forces. Medyan often filmed rebels during many battles and on the frontline and was the first journalist to gain access to Tripoli as he followed the rebels seizing the city from the government armed forces.
Medyan witnessed great instability following the fall of Colonel Ghaddafi and fighting soon began in Libya between several militias and General Khalifa Haftar’s forces. In the summer of 2014 without an authority in full control of the country a civil war broke out between a coalition of militias and General Khalifa Haftar’s forces. The city of Benghazi was under the control of General Haftar’s forces along with other militias and Isis: Medyan was the only journalist to gain access to the city.
Medyan has made several films and reports about conflicts in Yemen. He has gained access to all parties involved in violent confrontations. In March 2015, as the civil war started in Yemen, he was the only journalist to gain access to the Yemeni city of Aden. Despite the city being under siege and the theatre of very fierce fighting, Medyan filmed the documentary “The siege of Aden”. Since then he has regularly returned to Yemen to cover the ongoing conflict.
Medyan was one of the first journalists to enter Syria following the 2011 Uprising. Subsequently he has returned to the country several times to cover the Syrian conflict, often spending long periods of time there.
While in Syria, Medyan encountered all sides involved in the fighting, including all jihadist groups, and has interviewed all the leaders of the many opposition forces. He has followed rebels and opposition groups for weeks and months, and has filmed them on the frontline.
During long periods of filming and reporting in Syria, Medyan has often stayed with families and engaged with them and other local people to understand how they felt and coped with the difficult circumstances. Medyan always appreciated their warm hospitality and generosity.
Medyan met Isis and filmed the jihadist group in Iraq, and when it first appeared in Syria, gaining unprecedented access to the jihadist movement in both countries. As soon as Isis announced the establishment of the caliphate, Medyan was the first journalist to visit Raqqa and to travel around the Islamic State territory in Syria and up to the town of Al-Qa’im in Iraq. Medyan produced a unique and renowned documentary about the Islamic State titled “The Islamic State”, which has won several prestigious awards.
Medyan was the first journalist to interview a senior leader of the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front at the beginning of the group’s emergence. He was also the first journalist to make a documentary about the Al-Nusra Front which is titled “Inside the Battle: Al Nusra-Al Qaeda in Syria”. Overall Medyan spent eight consecutive weeks in Syria to make a series of documentaries about the Al-Nusra Front.
His work has been fraught with risks and during his assignments has been hurt several times. He was critically wounded while covering conflicts and skirmishes in Iraq. He was also seriously injured by sniper fire in the Tripoli district of Abu Saleem, the last Ghaddafi’s stronghold in the Libyan capital. At the beginning of the Syrian conflict Medyan was wounded in Aleppo while covering the fighting there.
Medyan has always been able to gain access to all sides involved in conflicts thanks to his renowned impartial and independent stance as a journalist. His achievements in his journalistic work have often been acknowledged and he has received several awards around the world. Among the prizes he has won are the Frontline Club Award for ‘integrity, courage, and independent spirit’ and the prestigious Peabody Award.
Medyan, in his independent style, has worked with many international news agencies, TV channels, and newspapers. He has produced different documentaries and investigative reports on human rights, arms production and trade, conflicts and wars. He has specialised knowledge of military strategies and jihadist organisations and has written several articles on these issues.
Medyan has written “From inside the Jihadist movements” – a collection of unique and complex accounts and investigative reports about jihadist organizations, in particular Fatah al-Islam, the Al-Qaeda organisation, and the Islamic State. These books are the result of extensive investigations on the ground, where Medyan has worked inside these groups during his visits to Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia, Lebanon, as well as from other countries.
Medyan is the first journalist to compile a biography of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi from unique information gathered from inside Al-Zarqawi’s close family and a close circle of Al-Qaeda’s leaders.
Medyan was the first journalist to write exclusively about Fatah Al-Islam’s leader, Shakar Al-Absi. He reconstructed his life and the events surrounding him through detailed information disclosed by Al-Absi’s close family and by other leaders within the organisation.
Medyan has also researched and written about several high-ranking Al-Qaeda leaders, uncovering unique material and information about them.