Martin Gehlen, a respected Middle East expert and correspondent from Germany and a 1992 Nieman Fellow, died on February 6 after suffering a heart attack. He was 64.
Gehlen, who often traveled and worked with his wife, photographer Katharina Eglau, reported for German newspapers from across the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, and Egypt. Starting in 2008, he was based in Cairo and covered the Arab Spring there.
Born in Düsseldorf, Germany, Gehlen attended the Deutsche Journalistenschule, or the German School of Journalism, in Munich, and also studied at universities in Jerusalem, Paris, and Erfurt, Germany; he received a doctorate in political science from the University of Erfurt in 2004. Gehlen’s was a correspondent for various newspapers, including Der Tagesspiegel, the Frankfurter Rundschau, and the Stuttgarter Zeitung. He was a policy editor for Südwest Presse and Der Tagesspeigel.
Gehlen was also the author of a 1997 book, “Upheaval in the American Safety Net: The 1996 Welfare Reform From a European Perspective.” In 2017, after living in Cairo became too dangerous, he and his wife moved to Tunis, Tunisia, in order to have a continued vantage point on the Arab world.