Nawzat Shamdin arrived in Skien on the 6th of March 2014 from Mosul, Iraq. He is a well-known Iraqi Kurdish journalist, novelist and literary critic.
During his journalistic career he has worked with the Ninevah Daily (editor 1995-2003), the dailies Wadi Al-Rafidayn (editorial 2003-2005), the Mustakbal al Iraqi, and the Bagdad-based daily Al Mada (2005-2012 as Director of the Ninevah office). Since 2010 he has worked as editor-in-chief for the cultural journal Thaqafat. He has also worked for the Iraqiyoun daily, the Aleqtissadiya weekly as well as being an occasional correspondent for the online journal MICT Niqash. He is known for his critical reporting on a wide range of political and humanitarian issues in Iraq, and as a literary and theatre critic.
Nawzat Shamdin is also a novelist and short-story writer, and his novel Half A Moon was published in Arabic in 2002. He is a member of the Iraqi Union of Writers, the International Press Union and the Iraqi Journalist Association. He also has a law degree and is a member of the Iraqi Bar Association.
Nawzat Shamdin has been under threat since Nov 2004 when armed opposition groups linked to al-Qaida and the coalition forces fought for control of the area and unprecedented levels of ethnic and sectarian violence ensued. Journalists were among those particularly targeted for their critical reporting of perceived support of the coalition forces. Shamdin was targeted three times by kidnapping, threats of kidnapping and demand for money and by a gunman. The last time he was saved by the smoke from the explosion of a car bomb.