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Anthony Shadid: the legacy that’ll be hard to follow

Anthony Shadid: the legacy that’ll be hard to follow

The passing of Anthony Shadid has left a large void within the Western media coverage of Middle Eastern Affairs. Remembering the man and the legacy.

February 19, 2012 5:03 by

The Middle East’s social media community, along with the regional and global media circles mourned the passing New York Times foreign correspondent on February 16, 2012. He was 43 years old.

Who is Anthony Shadid? Difficult as it may be to encapsulate one man’s life, we leaf through some of the pages of his history as a final tribute to the man behind the reporter.

A Lebanese-American, Shadid was born on September 26, 1968 in Oklahoma City. He had two kids: a daughter from his first marriage and a son from his second wife, journalist Nada Bakri.

Learning Arabic only as an adult, Shadid studied political science and journalism at the Universtiy of Wisconsin. He has always had the passion for journalistic endeavors but later became more embroiled in Middle East affairs in particular, having spent most of his professional career covering the region for various titles. This includes The Associated Press, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, for which he won Pulitzer Prizes in 2004 and 2010; and then lastly he worked with The New York Times.

Shadid, who passed away from a severe asthma attack while covering the Syria crisis, has a long history of being in the middle of harrowing situations. He has been shot in the shoulder while reporting in Ramallah in 2002. And in March 2011, he was captured by Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces along with three other Times journalists. They were released a week later. More recently, he has been in the middle of clashes in Egypt and in Syria, where he finally met his demise.

During his stint at the Washington Post, Shadid was awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice: One in 2004 and another in 2010. Within one of its many remembrance pieces for Shadid, The Post lists the articles submitted for the Pulitzer Prize during both years. Here’s the list:


In New Iraq, Sunnis Fear a Grim Future

In Revival Of Najaf, Lessons for A New Iraq

For an Iraqi Family, ‘No Other Choice’

Attackers United By Piety in Plot To Strike Troops

Shiite Clerics Face a Time Of Opportunity and Risks
In Iraq, the Day After (Jan. 2, 2009)

New Paths to Power Emerge in Iraq (Jan. 13, 2009)

‘No One Values the Victims Anymore’ (March 12, 2009)

A Journey Into the Iraq of Recollection (April 1, 2009)

A Quiet but Undeniable Cultural Legacy (May 31, 2009)

Worries About A Kurdish-Arab Conflict Move To Fore in Iraq (July 27, 2009)

In Anbar, U.S.-Allied Tribal Chiefs Feel Deep Sense of Abandonment (October 3, 2009)

‘People woke up, and they were gone’ (Dec. 4, 2009)

2003 U.S. raid in Iraqi town serves as a cautionary tale (Dec. 24, 2009)

Shadid was also an author. He wrote three books, one of which is due to be released at the end of February. He wrote “Legacy of the Prophet: Despots, Democrats and the New Politics of Islam” in 2000, then “Night Draws Near: Ira’s People in the shadow of America’s War” in 2005 and the last is “House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family and a Lost Middle East”.

Check out his website, for more information, photos and links by clicking here.

An outpouring of condolences and respect flooded Twitter community, including from outspoken columnist @SultanAlQassemi. Even more remembrances are published throughout US media titles. These include pieces such as The Washington Post’s Remembering Anthony Shadid, journalist and father, Rolling Stone’s In Memoriam: Anthony Shahid, and CNN’s Anthony Shahid: A reporter’s storyteller.

Here’s PBS NewsHours’ own video remembering a fallen compatriot:

And now, it looks as if the passing of Anthony Shadid has left a large void within the Western media coverage of Middle Eastern Affairs. And it’s safe to say that it will take an equally extraordinary passion to fill this void.

*Image from The Washington Post.

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