Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Blog
Anthony Shadid is gone. And with his passing we lose America's finest reporter on Arab World issues - at the time we need his work most. His work was unique, reflecting both his understanding of the history and culture of the Arab World and his concern for its people.
Unlike so many of his contemporaries, Anthony understood that the story of the region didn't begin the day he got the assignment. His reporting reflected a historian's appreciation for context. More than that, Anthony's work was also distinguished by a poet's sense of texture. He wrote not with an ego, but with an eye for detail and an ear for the voices he heard. Where others "embedded" with troops, he walked the streets of war torn Arab countries "embedded" with people, bringing to life, for the rest of us, what ordinary Iraqis, Lebanese,Syrians, etc were seeing and saying and feeling.
When you read an Anthony Shadid dispatch, you heard the voices of his subjects and saw the story unfold through their eyes.
He often put himself in harm's way to bring us stories we needed to read. He was shot and wounded by the Israeli military in 2003, he was at risk in Iraq, kidnapped and held hostage in Libya, and died while researching a story in Syria that no one else could or would cover.
For his work, he won two Pulitzers prizes. But for the contributions he has made to understanding of a region we need to know, but do not, we owe Anthony Shadid so much more.
Tribute by Tony Shalhoub from the 2007 Kahlil Gibran "Spirit of Humanity" Awards Gala