Ayed at the Halifax International Security Forum in 2017
|Alma mater||University of Manitoba|
Ayed was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is of Palestinian descent, and is fluent in Arabic, French and English. She joined the CBC in 2002, having previously served as a parliamentary reporter for the Canadian Press.
Ayed is a graduate of Carleton University School of Journalism with a Master's Degree in Journalism. She also holds a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Manitoba in genetics. On October 29, 2007, she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Manitoba in recognition of her coverage of the Middle East.
In 2003, as the Amman correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Ayed spent months in Baghdad prior to the Iraq War, then later returned to report live from Baghdad as the city fell. Her coverage of Iraq in the aftermath earned her a Gemini Award nomination.
From 2004 until 2009, Ayed was the CBC's Beirut correspondent, covering events throughout the Middle East region, including the 2006 Lebanon War and the Gaza War. In late 2009, she returned to Canada. She received her second Gemini Award nomination in 2010 for her coverage of the Iran presidential elections the year prior.
In 2012, Ayed published a memoir describing her early life and her experiences covering conflict in the Middle East. The book, A Thousand Farewells, was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Awards.
Ayed is based in Toronto, and regularly covered international stories, including the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict. On June 24, 2019 it was announced that she would be the new host of Ideas taking over from the retiring Paul Kennedy in September 2019.