Saturday, February 18, 2012

Anthony Shadid

Caption: My copy of Anthony Shadid's Night Draws Near. I can't think of a more fitting memorial to the man than his work.

Image credit: Photo by Cujo359

Having had my nose to an entirely different grindstone this week, I missed this bit of news from Thursday:
Anthony Shadid, a gifted foreign correspondent whose graceful dispatches for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The Associated Press covered nearly two decades of Middle East conflict and turmoil, died, apparently of an asthma attack, on Thursday while on a reporting assignment in Syria. Tyler Hicks, a Times photographer who was with Mr. Shadid, carried his body across the border to Turkey.

At Work in Syria, Times Correspondent Dies
Shadid was the kind of foreign correspondent that I wish we had far more of here in America. He wasn't, like so many of his colleagues, content to read official press releases, go to parties and other functions put on by the elites of a country, then tell us what was supposedly happening there. He told the stories of the Middle Eastern countries he covered through the eyes of ordinary people he met there - folks like you and me, but in whatever country he was stationed. His book Night Draws Near, about Iraq just prior to and during the 2002 invasion, was both heartwarming and tragic. It was a reminder of what Iraqis had suffered under Saddam Hussein, and what they would suffer under the aftermath of his regime as well.

Reporters of his caliber are few and far between, whether in the Middle East or anywhere else in American journalism. He will be missed.


Expat said...

Robert Fisk in yesterday's opinion elegizes of the loss of another journalist most eloquently.
The world cannot sustain such losses. To think, some governments purposely target journalists. What are they trying to hide (rhetorical).

Cujo359 said...

There aren't a great many journalists whose passing I'd think worth remarking about, that's for sure. I suspect there are some good American journalists that I just don't know about, but there can't be that many.