Heather M. Surls

From her adopted home in Amman, Jordan, Heather writes about Middle Eastern culture, refugees, and spirituality, while raising two energetic boys and enjoying friendships with women from Palestine, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq.

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About the Journalist

Heather M. Surls is an American writer and journalist who has lived in the Middle East for more than a decade. Her reporting has appeared in outlets such as the Jordan News, Christianity Today, EthnoTraveler, and Anthrow Circus, while her creative nonfiction has been published in journals that include River Teeth, Catamaran, Brevity, Nowhere, Ekstasis, and The Other Journal. She recently finished drafting her first book, a memoir-in-essays about her experiences in Jordan and Israel-Palestine.

Originally from California, Heather interned as a college senior for Religion News Service, a D.C.-based wire service reporting on religion. After graduating with a degree in print media, she got married and moved to Israel for two years. Then, after a season in the Chicago suburbs, she and her family relocated to Amman, Jordan, in 2015, where her husband, Austin, teaches at a local college and Heather writes, volunteers, and raises their two sons.

As a foreigner and an Arabic speaker, Heather enjoys great mobility in social spheres, regularly spending time with Syrian and Iraqi refugee women as well as Jordanians and Palestinians. She treasures the access she has to these women. If she’s not writing or with her family, Heather is probably drinking Turkish coffee or sweet black tea with her friends.


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