Sherine Tadros: ‘On the day we were meant to sign our marriage papers, he changed his mind’

The human rights activist discusses her new memoir Taking Sides

Listen | 72:25

“It’s many women’s nightmare,” Sherine Tadros says, as she reflects on that day in 2016, when her fiancé walked out on their relationship.

The couple were due to sign wedding documents later that afternoon, when her soon-to-be husband unexpectedly “changed his mind”.

“In a moment I had lost the life I thought I would lead,” she says.

The journalist turned human rights activist was speaking to Kathy Sheridan on the latest episode of The Irish Times Women’s Podcast and sharing details from her new book Taking Sides: a memoir about love, war and changing the world.


“It was all just so quick, that morning I thought my life was very, very different”.

As a former journalist, who has reported inside the Gaza Strip and from numerous other conflict zones, Tadros explains, “I was so used to these huge cataclysmic events in the world and these sort of political earthquakes, but I had never seen a personal earthquake like that and it just demolished me.”

Tadros reveals that just two days on from her marriage breakup, she found herself in London, interviewing for the role of Deputy Director of Advocacy at Amnesty International, her current job.

In this wide ranging conversation, Tadros details her journey through journalism, including a gruelling 79 days spent trapped inside the Gaza strip and a terrifying sexual assault she experienced while reporting on the downfall of the Egyptian regime.

She also explains why she eventually left broadcast journalism to take up a job with the human rights organisation, in an effort to not only expose injustice, but to fight it.