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Gaja Pellegrini

Rome, Italy
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About Gaja
Gaja Pellegrini is a journalist based in Rome, Italy.

English native speaker, with excellent Italian (bilingual) and professional level of French and Spanish.
Print and video/TV journalist, experienced with feature stories, interviews, content writing and video production including in war scenarios. 

Staff writer for UN agencies and the EU institutions in Brussels.
Worked for five years in the Middle East (Gaza, Lebanon, Iraq, Israel).
English Spanish French
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) News Gathering Feature Stories
Politics Current Affairs Natural Disasters

Video and written interview for Al Arabiya with NATO College Foundation President in Rome, Italy (2019).

Showreel reporting from Mosul, Iraq 2016-2017.


What the Mosul offensive means for Raqqa

11 Nov 2016  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the situation in Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq, under the control of ISIL. Raqqa serves as ISIL's de-facto capital, and Mosul is its largest population center in Iraq. The ongoing battle in Mosul is expected to impact civilians in Raqqa, with fears that ISIL fighters may retreat there. Civilians face severe restrictions, including bans on TV and internet, with ISIL closely monitoring the few public internet access points. Raqqa's healthcare system is under strain, with limited electricity and a severe shortage of medicines. The Kurdish fighters are also feared by civilians for alleged human rights violations. The Syrian Democratic Forces have launched operation Euphrates Anger to liberate Raqqa, but the situation remains complex due to regional and international rivalries. The article includes insights from Hussam Eesa, cofounder of RBSS, Lorenzo Trombetta, an Italian researcher, and Samir Aita, founder of the Syrian Democratic Forum.

No to a Syria without Assad. The West created the Islamic State, now it must fight it

26 Jul 2016  |  Limes
Gaja Pellegrini Bettoli discusses the West's role in the creation of the Islamic State and the subsequent need to combat it, referencing a conversation with Hezbollah's deputy secretary Naim Qassem. The article details meetings between European and Syrian officials, including Aise director Alberto Manenti and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations and potentially lifting some EU sanctions in exchange for intelligence on European citizens linked to the Islamic State.

Lebanon's Banking Sector at the Crossroads: Hezbollah, U.S. Sanctions, and Economic Stability

26 Jun 2016  |  Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The article discusses the financial and political implications of the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act (HIFPA) on Lebanon's economy and banking sector. The Lebanese Central Bank (BDL) is under pressure to comply with HIFPA by closing accounts affiliated with Hezbollah, which could destabilize the banking sector and the economy. The act aims to prevent financial benefits to Hezbollah, especially after Iran's nuclear accord. Lebanese banks must freeze accounts listed by the U.S. Treasury’s OFAC and establish financial intelligence units to monitor accounts. The BDL has begun closing accounts, which has led to concerns about the impact on the Lebanese economy, given its reliance on remittances and a dollarized economy. The article also covers the potential negative effects on Hezbollah's social services and the broader Lebanese society. The U.S. Embassy in Beirut has stated its intention to protect the Lebanese economy from HIFPA's side-effects, but skepticism remains. Resistance to HIFPA is evident, with an explosion targeting Blom bank, which had complied with the act. The BDL has ceased communication with the media, indicating the sensitivity of the issue.

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