Ramsay Short is a British-Lebanese journalist, writer, blogger, broadcaster, editor, travel writer and Arab World specialist.
Ramsay has been all of the above for the past 12 years and today is currently mixing roles as the Editor and co-publisher of the biggest read inflight travel magazine in Europe for popular low cost airline Ryanair; Middle East film industry correspondent for international film industry bible Variety; as well as freelancing for numerous cultural magazines and newspapers across the Middle East, as well as print media in the UK.
His career in the Middle East began in early-2001 when he started as a general reporter at The Daily Star English language newspaper in Beirut, Lebanon, then part of the International Herald Tribune global network. Until early-2003 Ramsay covered local, political and regional news in the country when he was appointed Features Editor at the paper, a position Ramsay retained until December 2005 during which he raised the profile of the cultural, arts and investigative pages winning plaudits and ruffling feathers with his sharp criticism, opinions, reviews and interviews contributing to making the paper the must-read English langauge daily in Lebanon.
Consecutively, at the beginning of 2005 Ramsay became the Beirut correspondent for The Daily Telegraph broadsheet in the UK under then Foreign Editor Alan Philps, reporting on key events in the country including the assassination of prime minister Rafik Hariri, my fellow journalist Samir Kassir, other political assassinations, the massive street protests, the Syrian withdrawal from the country, national elections, the complexities of the Lebanon's sectarian make-up including extensive reporting on groups such as Hezbollah as well the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon.
At the end of 2005 he left The Daily Star after five years to concentrate on his role for The Daily Telegraph, and to take up a new post as the founding Editor-in-Chief of Time Out Beirut, the international guide to the arts, culture and entertainment scene. He was responsible for launching the popular London magazine – and all such a startup entailed – in a city that had become one of the most vibrant in the Middle East. From nothing Ramsay created an exciting, creative and commercially successful publication invigorating a previously stale marketplace and providing exceptional, respected and in-depth coverage of Beirut's cultural milieu. After four groundbreaking and highly successful issues the magazine was suspended during the summer 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon. It did not re-start until 2008 by which time he had moved on.
With the onset of the 2006 war, Ramsay cut his teeth as a war correspondent filing regularly for The Telegraph, The News of The World and various news websites as well as reporting live for the Sky News television network. He also founded the popular blog Beirut Live to document the conflict, post news and stimulate debate that was not always available in the mainstream media both in the Middle East and in Europe and the West. Beirut Live proved an extremely successful source of alternative and real-time information on the war receiving thousands of unique views per day at the height of the war.
An expert on Middle East art and culture Ramsay writes regularly for numerous publications worldwide and has been interviewed for broadcast on Weekend America NPR, Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations", CBS 60 Minutes, ABC Nightline, BBC Newsnight, BBC World, BBC Radio 4 Broadcasting House and in print for the New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, Time Out Chicago, Time Out Istanbul, Time Out Dubai, Time Out Mumbai, The Guardian and Camden New Journal.
His work has been published in newspapers and magazines including The Financial Times magazine, the International Herald Tribune, Dutch magazine Baby, Aishti Magazine in Beirut, Bidoun in New York, the now defunct Impressions Magazine, Canvas magazine in Dubai, Tank magazine, BMI's Voyager magazine, J Magazine as well as Time Out magazines around the world.
In 2005 his first book 'A Hedonist's Guide To Beirut', the first up-to-date entertainment, restaurant, hotel and nightlife guide to Beirut for decades was published by British travel guide firm Hg2.
In 2010 Ramsay appeared in the extremely popular TV chef and traveller Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations program as his guide, fixer and companion investigating the food and wine of Lebanon in his second programme on the country.
He is currently working on a play provisionally entitled 'July 06' about the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, as well as a historical tale dealing with the ever popular subjects of exile, Islam and the Middle East question.
Academic background: Ramsay read History (with Arabic) for his BA at Edinburgh University achieving a 2.1 degree with Honours, followed by an MA in the History of International Relations at the London School of Economics specializing in the Middle East which he passed with Merit. After that he completed a further MA in Print Journalism at the London College of Printing passing with Distinction. Ramsay began his journalism career in London working for the Guardian G2 section of the British broadsheet as well as the Independent on Sunday news section.
He currently lives in London with his wife, daughter and son, and travels regularly to Beirut, the Gulf and across Europe in his role as a travel editor and freelance journalist.