Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, film, and ideas. 

the arab winter

The great American journalist Anthony Shadid is gone. A chronicler of the contemporary Middle East, its wars, its tragedies, its upheavals…but above all a chronicler of the humanity of its people… Anthony Shadid has left us at a time when we needed him the most. The Arab Spring was the story the Pulitzer Prize winning Lebanese-American journalist was born to cover, and it tragically consumed him in much the same way it has the societies and dictatorships of the modern Middle East.  I first encountered Anthony Shadid not through his articles in the Washington Post or the New York Times, but as the author of a haunting book about the Iraq war, Night Draws Near. In stark contrast with the embedded and Green Zone dispatches offered by most American journalists, Anthony Shadid set out to tell the story of ordinary Iraqis in the months leading up to and following the invasion. Nobody else was telling those stories and it fundamentally changed my understanding and sense of that conflict. But what struck me even more was Anthony Shadid’s uniquely American voice, hisdualism.  His ability to speak Arabic and write English as if a poet, his historical and deeply personal view of the Arabs andAmericans… it was that double consciousness that gave his work its grace and its insight.  There is often no middle ground between those cultures in our political and media discourse … but it was always present in Shadid’s reportage and in his life. Today I am watching friends post tributes to him from Washington and Ramallah, New York and Cairo, London and Beirut.It is a sobering reminder that in bearing witness to our shared history with integrity, respect, and an unrelenting intelligence… Anthony Shadid blurred our divisions and deepened our understanding of one another. For that, I am both deeply grateful and deeply saddened. 

A Tribute to Anthony Shadid