Former UN Deputy Special Envoy for Syria, Khawla Mattar, charts her path from covering the Lebanese civil war as a young journalist to her long career in the multilateral system. Starting out as the “joke of the UN” - an Arab Muslim woman not expected to succeed in negotiating with extremists - she quickly proved doubters wrong by crossing into ISIL and al-Nusra territory and successfully negotiating local ceasefires. Her first-hand account of wartime Syria not only reveals the horrors and desperation of war, but also her admiration for the resilience of young Syrians and her unwavering hope for a rebuilt country.