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Hamza Hendawi named AP's Cairo bureau chief

Veteran journalist Hamza Hendawi, who reported for The Associated Press from Baghdad during the 2003 U.S. invasion and then chronicled Iraq's bitter struggle through insurgency and sectarian conflict to elected government, has been named chief of bureau in Cairo responsible for coverage of Egypt, Libya and Sudan.

The appointment was announced Sunday by Senior Managing Editor John Daniszewski, who oversees international news and photos.

In the new post, Hendawi, a native of Cairo, will be responsible for the news cooperative's coverage at a time of political, social and economic change in all three countries in the northeast corner of Africa. He will report to AP Mideast Editor Robert Reid in Cairo.

"Hamza Hendawi over the past 15 years has acquired a well-deserved following among fellow journalists and Middle East experts for his authoritative writing and understanding of the intricacies of the region's politics and cultural fault lines. We are proud to appoint him to this new role," said Daniszewski.

The 55-year-old Hendawi joined the AP in 1995 and has since reported from 20 countries in the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia. He was named AP's Middle East correspondent in January 2009.

Hendawi has covered all major Mideast conflicts in the last decade and was the only AP writer in Baghdad during the U.S. "shock and awe" bombing in the 2003 invasion. He reported around-the-clock from the Iraqi capital during the three-week air and ground campaign that ended with the fall of the city in April 2003 and the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime.

After the initial phase of the war, Hendawi reported extensively from Iraq, covering each of the five nationwide elections held there since Saddam's ouster and embedding with U.S. forces. He has also written extensively about political, religious and cultural trends.

Hendawi was a member of the team of reporters honored by The Associated Press Managing Editors in 2004 for covering Saddam's capture in December 2003. He also received an APME honorary mention in 2003 for his reporting on the fall of Baghdad.

Hendawi, who holds both Egyptian and Cypriot nationality, graduated from Cairo University in 1977 and holds post-graduate degrees in Arabic and Middle East studies from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and the University of Manchester in England.

He is the author of the 2009 Arabic-language book "When Will It Be Morning? A Correspondent's Baghdad Journal." His second book, "Apocalypse Company, The Last Chapters of the Iraq War," is to be published next year.