M. Shahid Alam
An Arab-American of Lebanese descent, fluent in Arabic, Anthony Shadid was one of a handful of unembedded Western journalists reporting from Iraq during the US invasion in 2003. At the time, he was The Washington Post’s correspondent for Islamic Affairs in the Middle East.
His dispatches from Iraq were about Iraqis, about the destruction visited upon them by a war whose architects claimed that they were bringing democracy to that country. He reported the destruction and mayhem caused by this war by letting the Iraqis speak for themselves: and they spoke of their pain, their anguish, their perplexity and their anger.
For his honest reporting, for a job well done, Anthony Shadid received some of the highest accolades of his profession. In 2004 he received the Michael Kelly Award and the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. Other honors followed, all well-deserved. He had won his spurs for reporting, not cheerleading, neither praising nor denouncing the United States. He was reporting for The Washington Post, a neoconservative newspaper.
On Jan 29, I noticed for the first time a report in The New York Times that carried Anthony Shadid’s byline. Was this a promotion? It was written from Halaichiya, a remote village in the southern tip of Iraq, untouched by the war. The village has never seen Americans before, neither troops nor diplomats.