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Nicole Di Ilio

Beirut, Lebanon
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About Nicole
Nicole Di Ilio is a journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon.
Her work focuses on conflicts, radicalism, migrations, and marginalized groups. Her writing has appeared in Sky, Al Jazeera, Al Monitor, New Lines Magazine, VICE, among other publications. In recent years, she has been on the ground covering the war in eastern Ukraine, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the political and socioeconomic crisis in Lebanon, and religious extremism in Tunisia.
Arabic English Spanish
Interview (Video / Broadcast) Feature Stories Content Writing

Lebanon, 'Here in the south we are with Nasrallah and the resistance'

11 Jan 2024  |  ilfattoquotidiano.it
In Beirut, Samir Ayoub mourns the inability to save his sister Samira and her three daughters, Reemas, Talin, and Layan, who died when an Israeli missile struck their car. The local population in the south expresses support for Nasrallah and Hezbollah, who they see as protectors against potential invasion by Tel Aviv.

In Mosul, There’s a New War Against Mines

24 Feb 2022  |  New Lines Magazine
The article recounts the harrowing experiences of Hasoun Yahya, a Mosul resident who lost his son and his leg to a mine during the Islamic State occupation. It highlights the ongoing threat of unexploded ordnance in Iraq, despite the Islamic State's defeat. The International Committee of the Red Cross in Mosul, along with other organizations like iMMAP and the Mines Advisory Group, are working to address the issue. Iraq remains heavily contaminated with land mines and unexploded ordnance from decades of conflict, posing a significant challenge to clearance efforts and the safety of civilians. The article also discusses the financial and logistical difficulties faced by demining agencies, exacerbated by reduced international funding and government support. The impact of land mines extends beyond immediate danger, as they also prevent displaced people from returning home and rebuilding their lives.

'Valley of Peace,' largest world cemetery in holy city of Najaf

01 Jan 2022  |  Al-Monitor: Independent, trusted coverage of the Middle East
Saleha mourns the loss of her younger sister Fatima, who died of late-stage cancer. Fatima, 56, lived with her husband Tahseen in Ba'quba and leaves behind a grieving family. The narrative captures the emotional and cultural aspects of death and mourning in the context of the 'Valley of Peace' cemetery in Najaf.

‘I Will Kill Myself’: The Enduring Nightmare of Lebanon’s Kafala System

08 Jun 2021  |  New Lines Magazine
The article details the plight of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon, particularly under the Kafala sponsorship system. It follows the story of Mariema, a young woman from Sierra Leone who suffered abuse and exploitation while working as a maid in Beirut. Despite the Lebanese Ministry of Labor's attempt to reform the system with the new Standard Unified Contract, the Syndicate of the Owners of Recruitment Agencies in Lebanon successfully challenged it, and the State Shura Council suspended its implementation. Human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International criticize the system for facilitating forced labor and human trafficking. The article also touches on Lebanon's severe economic crisis, exacerbated by political corruption and the Beirut port explosion. The narrative highlights the systemic abuse of power and the lack of legal protection for migrant workers, as well as the efforts of organizations like This is Lebanon to help these workers.

Sacred Terror in Secular Tunisia

30 Mar 2021  |  New Lines Magazine
The article discusses the journey of a Tunisian man, Mohamed, who was radicalized and joined the Islamic State group in Syria. It explores the factors that led to his radicalization, including the disillusionment following the Arab Spring and the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia. The article highlights Tunisia's status as the largest exporter of jihadists, with over 5,500 nationals joining militant organizations. It also delves into the conditions of Tunisian prisons, where torture is still practiced despite constitutional prohibitions, and the prisons serve as breeding grounds for further radicalization. The article touches on the failure of the Tunisian government to address the root causes of extremism and the lack of effective de-radicalization programs. It concludes with a grim outlook for Tunisia's youth, who face high unemployment and poverty, feeling betrayed by the elite and the state.

Iraqi boy risks all to rescue Yazidi woman from Islamic State

01 Apr 2019  |  Al-Monitor: Independent, trusted coverage of the Middle East
Diya Hamad, a 16-year-old from Samarra, Iraq, has taken on the role of rescuing Yazidis from the Islamic State (IS). Recognized as a hero by Nabil Hassan, the manager of the al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria, Hamad's efforts come in the wake of IS's defeat by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces on March 22. The al-Hol camp shelters thousands of Iraqis who fled IS, including the wives and children of IS fighters and an unknown number of enslaved and abused Yazidi women.

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