Shirin Jaafari

Reporter

The World

Shirin Jaafari covers the Middle East for The World. She has reported from Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

Before joining The World, Shirin worked in Washington DC. She was a finalist for the 2009 Livingston Awards for Young Journalists.

You can find her on Twitter at @Shirinj

people behind a glass door at a table

Wagner mercenary group recruits Africans held in Russian prisons

In recent months, reports have emerged that at least two men, one from Zambia and another from Tanzania, were killed while fighting for the Wagner group in Ukraine. Wagner reportedly recruited the men from Russian prisons, promising them amnesty. 

Wagner mercenary group recruits Africans held in Russian prisons
woman with letter

Court orders Canada to take back its citizens from camps in Syria

Court orders Canada to take back its citizens from camps in Syria
"Anastasia" screenshot of a woman looking out of a window.

She spoke out against Putin. It came at a cost.

She spoke out against Putin. It came at a cost.
women and a baby

‘I am living through my worst nightmare’: Women aid workers in Afghanistan react to ban on employment

‘I am living through my worst nightmare’: Women aid workers in Afghanistan react to ban on employment
people at gas pump

Renewed calls in Syria to overthrow Assad regime

Renewed calls in Syria to overthrow Assad regime
mass grave with crosses

Investigators look for answers after Russian forces buried more than 400 bodies in a mass grave in Ukraine

A forest in the city of Izium in northeast Ukraine is home to one of the largest mass graves discovered since the Russian invasion.

Investigators look for answers after Russian forces buried more than 400 bodies in a mass grave in Ukraine
Residents of Izium take a break next to some shattered stores. Most of the residents left but some elderly stayed behind.

Izium was liberated in September. The hard work of returning back to normal has only begun.

It’s been two months since Ukrainian forces took back this city, but life is far from back to normal. The World visited Izium earlier this month and saw firsthand Russia’s trail of devastation, mines and one of the biggest mass graves discovered since the war began.

Izium was liberated in September. The hard work of returning back to normal has only begun.
A view of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine

'I thought we were going to die': A Ukrainian woman speaks out about her ordeal as a prisoner of war

Victoria Obidina was among a group of women who were taken as prisoners by the Russian military from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol in May. Obidina was held captive for six months before being released last month as part of a prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine.

'I thought we were going to die': A Ukrainian woman speaks out about her ordeal as a prisoner of war
playground

'As a mother, I'm scared': Recalling the day a popular Kyiv playground was hit by Russian military

On Oct. 10, Russia carried out a series of attacks on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. One of the rockets landed on a children’s playground at the popular Shevchenko Park. No one was killed at the park but the attack shocked parents and caregivers.

'As a mother, I'm scared': Recalling the day a popular Kyiv playground was hit by Russian military
destroyed tanks

These Ukrainians are trying to rebuild their lives at home — despite renewed Russian strikes

Recent Russian attacks have damaged power grids and water systems in the capital, Kyiv, but families are returning home, and crews of electrical maintenance workers are being charged with bringing power back to the city.

These Ukrainians are trying to rebuild their lives at home — despite renewed Russian strikes
damaged building

Russia is using suicide drones in Ukraine. They’re coming from an unlikely source.

Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said this week that Russia has been deploying Iranian-made drones in his country, targeting civilian areas. The drones are relatively small and can fly at low altitude, evading Ukrainian radars, Zelenskiy said.

Russia is using suicide drones in Ukraine. They’re coming from an unlikely source.
man at podium

The controversial Chechen leader who supports Putin in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin promoted Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov to army general this month. Kadyrov is a long-time ally of Putin and is known for his inflammatory remarks and abysmal human rights record. He has also described Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a “holy war.”

The controversial Chechen leader who supports Putin in Ukraine
In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Ebrahim Raisi speaks during his press conference in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Aug. 29, 2022.

No contradiction in supporting protesters while pursuing nuclear deal with Iran, US special envoy says

Robert Malley, the US special envoy for Iran, joined The World's host Marco Werman from Washington to discuss how the Biden administration views the current protests and what this could all mean for efforts to secure a nuclear deal with Iran.

No contradiction in supporting protesters while pursuing nuclear deal with Iran, US special envoy says
A Lebanese policeman stands guard next to a bank window that was broken by depositors to exit the bank after attacking it trying to get their money, in Beirut, Lebanon

'We are forced to be bank robbers,' desperate Lebanese citizens say amid financial crisis

Banks in Lebanon have partially reopened this week after the government had ordered them to be shut down. The closures were prompted by a spate of bank heists conducted by people whose savings have been stuck in banking system.

'We are forced to be bank robbers,' desperate Lebanese citizens say amid financial crisis
a girl in a classroom

'We are erased': The fight to reopen girls secondary schools in Afghanistan continues

This past week, girls in the province of Paktia in eastern Afghanistan went to the streets to protest. The Taliban had reopened their schools but ordered them shut again. Girls’ education in Afghanistan has become a sensitive topic since the Taliban came to power last year. They have closed down nearly all secondary schools for girls in the country.

'We are erased': The fight to reopen girls secondary schools in Afghanistan continues