Author: As-Safir (Lebanon) Posted February 20, 2012
“I did feel that Syria was so important, and that story wouldn’t be told otherwise, that it was worth taking risks for,” said Anthony Shadid, The New York Times Middle East correspondent, with great confidence, in an interview with Terry Gross in December explaining the risks of his job. Perhaps Shadid (43 years old), American of Lebanese descent, was aware of the potential danger he could face covering the events in Syria and earlier, the revolutions in Egypt and Libya. But what Shadid did not know was that he would die of an asthma attack in February 16, 2012 in the Syrian town of Idlib, hours before [he was scheduled] to arrive in Istanbul for a family vacation.
The writer, "devoted to his Lebanese roots", was about to publish a book entitled House of Stone in Beirut next April, tackling the special relationship he had with Lebanon and describing the Israeli massacres in Southern Qana in 2006.” Shadid and his father were born in America, but their family is of Lebanese descent. They were trying to regain their Lebanese nationality, especially considering that Shadid has managed to reconstruct his house in Jdeidet Marjayoun, and lived with his wife, Nada Bakri (from Kamed El-Lawz, Western Bekaa) who also works at [The New York Times], and his (one and a half-year-old) child Malek in Ain El-Mreisseh.”
However, his three year-old marriage was the victim of a difficult profession riddled with adventures and losses, as [Shadid] was strongly devoted, passionate and yearning for information about the Free Syrian Army in Syria. The New York Times genius did not rest on his laurels after he won the Pulitzer Prize, the largest US award for journalism, in 2004 and 2010 - for his coverage of the Iraq war and the events in Lebanon and Palestine - and an honorary doctorate from the American University in Beirut (AUB) in 2011. Indeed, he could not stand watching the Arab uprising from afar. He traveled to Egypt and then to Libya, where he along with some colleagues was abused by forces loyal to the late Colonel Muammar Qaddafi.
The articles of Shadid, who was born in Oklahoma, were last seen on the pages of The New York Times on February 9, and left without bidding farewell to their regional and international readers. That day, [Shadid] wrote from Tripoli, Libya, saying: "The country that witnessed the Arab world’s most sweeping revolution is foundering. [...] But no one would consider a city ordinary where militiamen tortured to death an urbane former diplomat two weeks ago, where hundreds of refugees deemed loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi waited hopelessly in a camp and where a government official acknowledged that 'freedom is a problem’.”
Read More: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/culture/2012/02/anthony-shadid-front-line-corres.html