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Fear Bravely - An Evening with Hesna Al Ghaoui

Date: 17 October 2019, 7 PM - Balassi Institute Brussels
hesna

Book presentation and discussion with Hesna Al Ghaoui

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How do we define a brave person? Is it someone acting fearless or someone taking actions defying fear? Why has fear become today’s most important currency and how does it shape our decisions? What motivates us to stay gripped by dread or leave our comfort zone? To seek answer for these questions, former war correspondent Hesna Al Ghaoui began to gather the interviews as well as her experiences and stories of war and peace she had gained in 15 years of fieldwork in more than 20 countries. She was shocked to encounter the mental and physical effects of intimidation that characterized not only the life of citizens, but soldiers, other journalists and hers, too. As a consequence, Al Ghaoui had dived deeper into the topic. She interviewed researchers and internationally acclaimed social psychologists to find out more about the physical symptoms of fear as well as its impact on our everyday lives: from the moment of infiltration to the full control over our habits and behaviour. At the same time, she points out its unexpected benefits. In fact, fear might be a great blessing that helps us come to terms with our personal capabilities and limits and a big push to think outside the box. The only thing we need to do is to take change as an exciting opportunity.

Hesna Al Ghaoui is a journalist, television reporter, former correspondent of MTV News and Panorama Foreign Policy Magazine, and author of the Babel report series. She received Prima Primissima Prize and was awarded Camera Hungaria Prize multiple times. In the past fifteen years, she has reported from more than 20 countries and several combat zones where she experienced with astonishment the psychic and physical effects of intimidation not only on the dreaded population, but also on soldiers, other journalists and herself. For this reason, she decided later to address the issue thoroughly and dedicated her book titled Fear Bravely to the subject. It was published in 2017 in Hungarian, one year later translated into Dutch, and is now available in Hungarian, Belgian and Dutch bookstores. In her book, she argues that fear can even serve our life. Handling fear with success is not restricted to war correspondents: it is also important in everyday life as a parent, partner, employee or leader, just to mention a few examples. Holly the Hero, she wrote for children approaches the subject of fear and bravery in a playful manner. Recently, she has been giving lectures to communities, universities, and companies about the driving force of fear. Furthermore, she attaches great importance to social responsibility; she is ambassador for the Heroes Initiative and member of the Edison platform think tank.

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