Reporter Anthony Shadid Brought Intimate Look to Mideast Struggles
Photo of Anthony Shadid by Terissa Schor via Flickr Creative Commons.
The death of New York Times foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid has been followed by an outpouring of praise for the talented and humble reporter, who passed away Thursday from an asthma attack while covering the unrest in Syria. Over the years, Shadid made numerous appearances on the NewsHour. Here are some highlights:
In January 2005, when Shadid was working for the Washington Post, he described what life was like in Baghdad during tense elections:
Right now you are seeing almost a tale of two cities in Baghdad. When you venture into Sunni neighborhoods or predominantly Sunni neighborhoods, the election isn’t really much of an issue to be honest. There aren’t that many campaign posters. Inside homes it is not a topic of conversation. You know people are reluctant to vote in those areas either for fear of intimidation, or they see this process as being engineered by the United States and they don’t want to be part of it.
You see a far different story in Shiite neighborhoods, places like Habbaniyah and even parts of Sadr City. There is quite a bit of enthusiasm and excitement about the vote. There is a sense that come Election Day, there is going to be a redress of historic wrongs of decades even centuries in which the Shia community has been repressed. This is the moment which they rectify it, this is the moment when they — achieve their rights or exercise their influence that reflects their numbers as a majority.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter also wrote several books. He talked to Jeffrey Brown in September 2005 about one of them, “Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War,” and why he embedded with ordinary people of Baghdad, rather than with the military as other reporters were doing:
>You know, it was early on in the war, I think, and I had made a decision before the invasion began to stay in Baghdad to try to get a sense of how a city was going to react to an invasion, a city under siege. And it was pretty early on in the war that people started talking a little bit more honestly than they might have before the invasion.
And it was actually something my editor saw as well, that there was a story to tell perhaps in what people were saying, just popular sentiments, and that popular sentiments might be more revealing than we thought they would be.
Shadid’s assignments often took him to dangerous places, including Libya, where he and three other New York Times journalists were held captive by Moammar Gadhafi’s forces. In this April 1 interview, he and photographer Lynsey Addario describe their experiences:
Most recently, Shadid heavily reported on developments in the Arab Spring. In this July 22 interview, he discusses what he saw in the Syrian city of Hama after security forces had withdrawn:
Others recalled his bravery and humility on Twitter:
— Ivo Daalder (@USAmbNATO) February 17, 2012
We journalists have lost a paragon, the people of the Middle East lost a profound voice, & the world an immeasurable understanding. #Shadid
— Ghazala Irshad (@ghazalairshad) February 17, 2012
#Shadid had the rare ability to make people he met even briefly feel like they were special and mattered. Part of the reason for outpouring.
— Nicholas Kulish (@nkulish) February 17, 2012
The Washington Post has a roundup of Shadid’s award-winning work.
Shadid and his wife Nada Bakri, also a journalist, appeared on Charlie Rose in December 2009 to talk about what it’s like reporting in the Middle East.
And the Turkish news site Hurriyet has a slide show of Shadid, including when he was shot in the shoulder while reporting in the West Bank city of Ramallah.