Anthony Shadid, 1968-2012

17 02 2012

This morning was extremely difficult for those of us in the fields of journalism and Middle Eastern Studies.  We learned of the indescribable and painful loss of one of the masters of intrepid and respectable journalism, New York Times foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid.

I remember a year ago when he and his team were captured by Qaddafi’s security forces in Libya, and were beaten and abused.  However, such a harrowing experience barely scratches the surface of Anthony Shadid’s portfolio.

I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you that modern-day journalism appears to slip off the slope of integrity, objectivity, and knowledge-based intelligent reporting of the facts.  For those of us who are “Edward R. Murrow-brand purists,” journalists who meet such high standards are very rare in today’s world, especially when it comes to the tricky region of the Middle East.

Anthony Shadid stayed true to that spirit of traditional journalism with integrity, and he wrote with passion and compassion about the real people on the ground, suffering from wars and tragedies.  I encourage you to read Anthony’s obituary:

And an article about his death in Syria:

The saddest irony of his demise is that he succumbed to asthma.  He was a fearless war correspondent who survived bullets, bombings, beatings, and endless dangers and threats in the Middle East.  Anthony Shadid, you will be sorely missed.

NOTE:  Everything I write in this blog constitutes my personal opinions and views.



One response

2 03 2012

This is an inamroftive post, and I appreciate how difficult it is to write a short article about Lebanon without relying on shorthand generalizations.Nevertheless, the first half of this sentence is rather misleading: Since Hizballah won a larger share of popular support than March 14, it was inevitable that no government could be formed which would exclude them. Hizballah and Amal won essentially universal Shia support, which everyone knew they would. But this election solidified similar support among Sunnis behind Hariri’s Future Movement, which has rallied Sunni public opinion against Hizbullah to a degree that would have been hard to imagine before 2005. Moreover, this election was always going to be won by the Christian swing vote. March 14th tried to depict March 8th Christians as pawns of Iranian and Syrian interests, and March 8th did the same toward March 14th and its Saudi patrons. Both sides used ugly sectarian scare tactics, and in the end more swing voters sided with March 14th and the Saudis. March 8th’s Michel Aoun did significantly worse than expected, which is the direct result of how Christians view his relationship with Hizbullah, Syria and Iran.

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