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Kareem Fahim named new Istanbul bureau chief

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Announcement from Foreign Editor Douglas Jehl and Deputy Foreign Editor Mary Beth Sheridan:

We’re very happy to announce that Kareem Fahim, who has distinguished himself as a Middle East correspondent for the New York Times since 2011, will join The Washington Post next month as Istanbul bureau chief.

This is a newly created position that fills our desire to broaden our coverage of the conflicts, political upheaval and humanitarian crises transforming the Middle East and beyond. More than ever before, Turkey is finding itself part of that swirl, not just in the spillover from battles in neighboring Syria and Iraq but also in contending with internal instability after last month’s failed coup.

There may be no one better suited to take on this challenge than Kareem, who got his start as a journalist covering the American-led invasion of Iraq and has spent the past five years based in Cairo for the Times but traveling widely around the region. He wrote from Tunisia at the outset of the Arab uprisings and went on to report extensively from Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Bahrain, chronicling the dizzying changes with a focus on the consequences for everyday citizens throughout the region. He is a courageous and perceptive reporter, a graceful and insightful writer, and he is known across the region for his decency and generosity as a colleague.

These qualities make Kareem an ideal addition to a Middle East team whose on-the-ground coverage of the region’s upheaval has been among the best in the business. Kareem will roam widely, with primary responsibility for Turkey and a critical role in coverage of the Arab world including Iraq and Syria.

Kareem will head an Istanbul-based team that includes Erin Cunningham, who will spend time in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as covering Turkey.

Kareem is a graduate of Occidental College and the Columbia University Graduate School of International and Public Affairs. He began his career at the Village Voice before moving to the Times in 2005. He grew up in California and Kuwait, attended boarding school in New England, and speaks conversational Arabic.

Kareem will start work in the newsroom on Sept. 6, and will spend a few weeks getting to know The Post and seeking the necessary accreditation before taking up his duties in the region.