A Terrible Loss

Anthony Shadid, a Middle East correspondent for The New York Times passed away today in Eastern Syria, having suffered a fatal asthma attack. Like millions of other readers, I’d been a longtime admirer of Anthony’s superb coverage of the Middle East as a reporter for the Times and the Washington Post.

He was one of the most curious, kindhearted, thoughtful, and intelligent journalists I’d ever met, a mentor to countless foreign correspondents, and someone who set a new standard for informed, balanced, and nuanced storytelling that somehow managed to find the momentous in the mundane.

I feel privileged to have known him personally, and I will mourn his loss.

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9 thoughts on “A Terrible Loss

  1. I am so sorry to hear this, he is one of the rare and great reporters on the Middle East, what a terrible loss. my condolences to his wife and children and all his friends.

    Posted by Vulcan | February 17, 2012, 1:07 am
  2. This unimaginable loss is a profound one for many reasons, not the least for the silencing of the voice of a truly honorable man. In a profession that has become riven by terrible pressures to succeed through stenography, Shadid’s quiet persistence in reflecting the facts on the ground stands out.

    Anthony Shadid was a man one instinctively knew one could trust; yo soy un hombre sincero.

    May his loved ones find some comfort in the great respect and regard pouring out from all quarters. Anthony Shadid embodied the classic ideal of the modest Hero.


    Posted by lally | February 17, 2012, 2:02 pm
  3. Since not all readers have access to the NYT this was tha page one story today Saturday 18 2012. Ironically this will be the last of the Anthony Shadid gems about the Arab Spring.


    Posted by Ghassan Karam | February 18, 2012, 1:51 pm
  4. too sad for words

    Posted by Nadim Shehadi | February 19, 2012, 7:26 am
  5. He worked for the NY Times, yet for some reason we keep being told that he was a great and honest reporter. Great and honest reporters don’t work for the NY Times. Plus he was married to Nada Bakri, another “great and honest” reporter with the NY Times.

    I really don’t have any strong feelings against this man, but just knowing the fact that he was illegally entering my country, it is almost befitting that he died following a horse’s ass. Entry to Syria for non-Syrians is a privilege and not a right.

    Yeah yeah, I know, let me save you all some time: I’m a terrible person who should rot in hell. Thank you!

    Posted by Murad | February 19, 2012, 12:20 pm
  6. Murad,
    You are absolutely right, the honest reporters are those that are in the employ of the Baath rags. As for crossing into Syria without a visa that is due to the closed society that your dictator wants to impose. And yes you are even a worse person than you think and rotting in hell might not be severe enough of a punishment for your wretchedness of spirit and contemptible language. Your only saving grace is that you seem to know how disgraceful you are.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | February 19, 2012, 6:46 pm
  7. Murad,
    On the face of it, you would be right. The NYT is Israels best selling newspaper in the US, and working for it seems like selling out. However, you may want to read about his conversations with the Angry Arab on his blog before making you mind up. He was it seems to me more complicated than that – Plus he was once shot by an Israeli soldier and thats a medal of honor all by itself.

    its not either or. The NYT is no less propangadist than the Baathist papers. Also, why you cant enter a country without a visa is irrelevant. You dont get to decide which countries have satisfactory entry requirements and which dont. You cant have the law abiding nation you constantly tell us you want Lebanon to become and then advocate the breaking of laws in other countries just because it suits your political agenda.

    Posted by mo | February 19, 2012, 8:50 pm
  8. mo,
    I don’t know of many, or any for that matter, that will put the NYT on the same level as a Baathist rag. It is very unfortunate that you say that. How can you say that the NYT is Israels newspaper? Mo, as you well know breaking a traffic violation is not on the same level as violating human rights. If a person is caught inside a country without a visa then that individual may be deported after due process. I am sure that Mr. Shadid was aware that he was breaking the law when he entered the country illegally and I am sure that he was willing to pay the price for that violation but to exhibit exuberance for the death of someone who crosses a border illegally is nothing short of being a sordid mindset.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | February 19, 2012, 9:50 pm
  9. GK,
    Seriously, you want to debate the pro-Israeli bias of the NYT? Im not putting on the same level, so to be more specific, when it comes to the only thing it prints that I care about, it is very one-sided and follows no ethical code of journalistic neutrality whatsover.

    I am not equating traffic violations and human rights abuses. Your statement implied that Mr Shadid had the right to enter Syria illegaly because you dont like the rulers of Syria. If one believes in the rule of law, then one has to adhere to it everywhere. If your contention is that the law only applies if one finds the ruling party or parties acceptable then you open your argument for Lebanon to serious attack, no?

    Posted by mo | February 20, 2012, 5:27 am

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