Stories from Matthew Bell
I'm back in Boston after spending three years in the Middle East, where I managed to grab a front-row seat for the 2011 Egyptian revolution, pick up some valuable conversational Arabic skills, and fall deeply in love with Middle Eastern cuisine. The news from that part of the world continues to keep me busy here at The World's headquarters. But I'm also looking toward Asia - especially China - a place that sort of led me to the journalism business in the first place.
I studied Chinese history at the University of Vermont. That led me to Mandarin language classes and UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, and then to KQED Radio in San Francisco. From there, I started freelancing for The World and joined the team here in Boston in late 2001.
I've been blessed to be able to cover a huge range of stories for The World. But some of the most memorable ones involved taking a trip on a Louisiana shrimping boat in the Gulf of Mexico, traveling with a Palestinian family from Gaza whose infant boy received life-saving heart surgery in Israel, and meeting North Korean refugees in the South Korean capital. I've reported on foreign policy in US presidential politics, the rise and fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and housing demolitions in Shanghai. I'd rather be playing drums for The Roots, but that position is filled quite competently for the time being. So, I'm sticking with radio.
In the way of some more personal detail, few people on earth enjoy food more than I do. I'm married to a brilliant musician and we have two highly-gifted children. I'm engaged with two long term projects for the foreseeable future: on the basketball court, I'm developing my jump shot; and on the drums, the Texas shuffle is a work in progress.