Current Place of Residence: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
From the Lebanese Civil War to Afghanistan, from Iraq to Syria and Libya: TV Director Ed Sabella, who has enjoyed working in hostile locations, is now a Lead Director at the BBC World Service.
Ed Sabella, a TV Director of Armenian origin born and raised in Beirut, personally experienced all sort of war, however, he has always liked to cover conflicts during his 25 years of professional career in Media.
He had to drop out of his school at the age of 14, because of the Lebanese Civil War:
"It was the end of the Civil War, I was not keen on continuing my studies and therefore, I could not continue my education. When I was 16, I applied for a job at a Beirut-based television company called MTV Lebanon. I did not have relevant work experience, but they accepted me and I started as an Assistant Cameraman," Ed Sabella stated that he was able to acquire all the professional knowledge, including journalism, camera operating, and video editing, during his early work experience and All thanks to his mentor.
Having a good knowledge of Arabic, English French and Armenian, Ed received offers from leading media companies after he gained some experience, and started working in hostile spots as a Cameraman and Editor. When he started directing, MTV was shut down and he received an offer to work in another Lebanese TV called LBC (Lebanese Broadcasting corporation) and in 2003 he moved to Dubai to work at MBC (Middle East Broadcasting Center).
In 2007, he applied for a TV Director position at the BBC World Service and moved to London. He covered stories in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon and many other countries by setting up mobile studios or doing big programs, he designed and created many programs for the BBC Arabic.
“I always liked working in hostile zones covering live stories right from the scene. I was born during the Lebanese Civil War and saw many disasters. And when I started working at television as an assistant, I liked this kind of duties. Every day I was learning new things.
Sabella confessed that he has never experienced fear when reporting from war zones and was quick-witted in tough situations as to what steps to undertake.
“To some extent, this is perhaps related to my childhood or the military service with the Lebanese army. I saw war when I was a child, and therefore, I am aware of the dangers. I am quick in deciding how to react in danger. I had lots of training on how to protect myself and the crew and I did advanced first aid courses. There are few journalists who experience symptoms like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), sometimes they don’t sleep well and have nightmares after reporting from hostile locations. I have never experienced such things. I never had any stress, fears, or bad psychological mood,” Sabella tells.
When BBC launched its studios in Egypt and Beirut Ed Sabella was appointed by the BBC Arabic to lead both projects for training and building studios.
He had no issues in integrating in foreign societies and he lived in London for the past 10 years.
“I am used to travel all the time and I love it. I have been to Afghanistan, France, Iraq, Syria and many other places, and it was easy and fun to make new friends all over the world. I have never had issues with integration, living in different cultural environments, as well as socializing.
He visited Armenia for the first time in 2016 and ran a few workshops for Armenian journalists and students.
“I loved Armenians and Armenia very much. I also applied for the Armenian citizenship and envisage starting a business in Armenia, as well as carrying out seminars and trainings for local media organizations,” Sabella tells and adds with a smile that he fell in love with his homeland, Armenia.