Mariana van Zeller is an award-winning journalist and correspondent. Her new series for National Geographic premieres in early 2013. Mariana began her journalism career in her native Portugal, where she was a producer and correspondent for SIC Televisão, the nation’s largest private news channel. In 2001, Mariana moved to New York to attend Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. A month into the program, she was reporting live back to Europe on the events of 9/11. In 2003, Mariana went undercover to report on Syrian mujahideen crossing into Iraq to fight against the US invasion. The story captured the first signs of what would be a growing insurgency.