As a journalist, Badkhen has covered wars in Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Chechnya and Kashmir. Her trip to Afghanistan was made possible by a grant from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Peace Meals (Free Press, 2010) is a record of her experiences there, the people she met and the food she shared with them. Badkhen searches for the common denominator amongst peoples in war ravaged areas and focuses on the effects of war on civilians.
Badkhen grew up in Russia and did her first reporting for the St. Petersburg Times. From 2002 to 2004 she was the San Francisco Chronicle’s Moscow bureau chief. Her writing has appeared in The New Republic, Foreign Policy, Ms., Salon, The Boston Globe and The San Francisco Chronicle. Her e-book Waiting for the Taliban became available last month.