Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why we will miss Anthony Shadid

Nir Rosen sent me this note about Anthony Shadid (I cite with his permission):  "his death is not only a catastrophic personal tragedy for his family or friends (of which i was one and i'm still in shock from it), its a huge setback in a struggle we are all part of. nobody else in the mainstream, let alone the new york times, had the clout to humanize arabs or let them speak directly to white people in the US, and to even challenge, if subtly, the dominant narrative, not only by what he wrote, but by what he didnt write, because he did not have to always refer to zionists or white "experts" for quotes and analysis. and his existence also allowed other journalists in the mainstream a bit more space, it showed the value of having somebody like him and made it easier for great journalists like leila fadel, or hannah allam, to do their job. and he had the imprimatur of the pulitzer and other prizes that protected him from criticism. i dont think we can fully appreciate what his loss will do to the way the arab world is reported and understood and as a result dealt with as well, but he is irreplaceable for us and it marks the end of an era".