Karen Dabrowska was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1956. Her parents were refugees from the city of Lvov in eastern Poland, who could not return to their country at the end of the Second World War because the region was annexed by the then Soviet Union.
After completing a BA at Victoria University, Wellington in sociology and politics and a journalism course at Wellington Polytechnic, Ms Dabrowska joined the Evening Post a national daily in 1979. During her six years with the paper she worked as a business and court reporter, covered the commercial fishing and horticultural industries, wrote a series of articles on alternative medicine and welfare issues and contributed freelance articles to Commercial Fishing Magazine and the RSA Journal She also did voluntary work for Prisoners Aid. After leaving the Evening Post she worked as press officer for the New Zealand Theatre Federation and the New Zealand Standards Association.
In 1985 she was accepted for a post-graduate course in international journalism at City University, London. Her MA thesis dealt with the effectiveness of the Polish-government-in-exile as a pressure group.
After graduating in 1986 with an MA (with distinction) she spent two months in Ethiopia researching and writing Addis Ababa: A pocket guide to Ethiopia’s capital city.
In 1987 she was appointed features editor of New Horizon, a Middle Eastern/ Islamic publication dealing mainly with the politics and culture of the Islamic world. She became editor of New Horizon in 1988. After the magazine changed its focus to Islamic banking, she assisted in setting up a number of English language newsletters dealing with the Middle East such as Dialogue, Iraq Update and Kuwait Review. She also worked as assistant editor of Al-Muhajir and Gulf States Newsletter and contributed articles to Discourse a monthly publication promoting Muslim-Christian relations and The Yemen Times.
From 1991 to July 2011 Ms Dabrowska worked London correspondent for Jana News Agency. She was assistant editor of Islamic Tourism magazine (www.islamictourism.com), currently contributes articles to the magazine and undertook some editorial assignments for Cyrus Consultants and ZDF German television and has regular transcription assignments for the Abrar Islamic Foundation. On December 19th 2004 she set up a good news website about Iraq: www.anotherIraq.com She joined the Sudanese National Council as development officer on July 12th, 2011.
In 2002 Iraq: The Bradt Travel Guide which has been reprinted twice was published. Ms Dabrowska’s latest book is Iraq: Then And Now – a guide to the country and its people was published in April 2008. She is also the author of Bahrain Briefing: The Struggle for Democracy (December 1994 – December 1996 and two reports on the Iraqi regime’s violations of human rights and drainage of the marshlands of southern Iraq.
She has just completed two books : The Libyan Revolution: diary of Qadhafi’s newsgirl in London and Justice Denied: Riad El Taher and the oil-for food surcharge and is working on a book about the peoples’ revolution in Bahrain.
In the course of her work she has visited over 30 countries including Afghanistan, Australia, Fiji, Oman, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, Jordan, Western Sahara, Ethiopia, USA, Iran, Yemen, St Lucia, North Cyprus, Turkey,Canada, Poland, Ukraine, Kenya and Tanzania.