Anthony Shadid, RIP

In remembrance of the award-winning foreign correspondent, who died Thursday in Syria
5 stories

The New York Times lost one of its own late Thursday. "Anthony Shadid, the Beirut bureau chief for The New York Times, died on Feb. 16, apparently of an asthma attack, as he was covering the conflict in Syria. Mr. Shadid, 43, had been in Syria for a week to report on armed elements of the opposition the government in Damascus whose increasingly violent resistance to nearly a year of harsh repression by military forces appeared to be pushing the conflict toward civil war," the newspaper reports. "Before joining the Times, Mr. Shadid served as the Baghdad bureau chief of The Washington Post. Over a 15-year career, he reported from most countries in the Middle East. He won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting twice: in 2004 for his coverage of the United States invasion of Iraq and the occupation that followed and in 2010 for his coverage of Iraq as the United States began its withdrawal. In 2007, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Lebanon."

In August, Shadid filed a dispatch from a tumultuous Syria. "The Syrian uprising began in mid-March in the hardscrabble town of Dara’a, about 160 miles from here, after 15 teenagers were arrested for writing anti-government graffiti on school walls. The teens were reportedly beaten, and some of them had their fingernails pulled out. Their mothers were threatened with rape," he wrote. "The revolt spread quickly from Dara’a throughout the country and has become the most violent in the Arab uprising, rivaled only by Libya, but Libya was a civil war. More than 2,200 Syrians have been killed and thousands more arrested in the relentless government crackdown. Protests after Friday prayers have become ritual, and in response to them the military and security forces have assaulted many of Syria’s largest cities — Latakia, Homs, Hama, Deir al-Zour and, of course, Dara’a — the violence so pronounced that the United States and European countries have demanded President Bashar al-Assad end his 11-year reign."

The same year he filed a piece about Afghanistan. "It was 3 am in Qala Niazi when the drone of US bombers rumbling through the night sky awoke villagers sleeping off a night of festivities last December 29. Within half an hour, a storm of sound and fury unleashed by the warplanes had ended, and the hamlet was no longer. December 29 was the morning after 15-year old Inzar's wedding party, an occasion that had drawn guests and relatives from Jalalabad in the east, Khost in the south and the nearby city of Gardez," he wrote. "Because they had traveled long distances, on roads particularly treacherous after the Taliban's hasty retreat, many chose to spend the night in the cluster of walled compounds built of dried mud and hay. The bombs entombed many of them, including the bride and groom. Strewn across the sun-baked plain in southern Afghanistan was the detritus of their lives -- a pillow adorned with red roses, a purple mattress, a suitcase and a dusty blue water pitcher."

Here's a paragraph from one of his Iraq stories that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize: "U.S. combat troops finished withdrawing from Baghdad and other Iraqi cities on June 30. But they leave behind a capital that is forever altered by their presence. Augustus boasted that he found Rome a city of bricks and made it a city of marble. Baghdad was another city of bricks, and a coterie of American generals turned it into a city of cement. Their concrete is everywhere -- from the sprawling Green Zone to the barriers and blast walls that line almost every street -- reorienting the physical, spiritual and social geography that for more than a millennium was dictated by the lazy bends in the Tigris River."

Five of his articles are collected below, and there are many more here.

From the Web

Syria’s Sons of No One

Syria’s rebel youth have had to teach themselves everything.

From the Web

Victims of Circumstance

From the Web

In the City of Cement

Jul 2009
From the Web

For an Iraqi Family, “No Other Choice”

Father and Brother Are Forced by Villagers to Execute Suspected U.S. Informant.

Aug 2003
From the Web

“People Woke up and They Were Gone”

At one former U.S. base, quietly departing Americans leave their mark in the mundane detritus of occupation.

Dec 2009