Back In Baghdad
I never greeted my male Iraqi colleagues with hugs before- always wary of keeping the appropriate distance between a man and a woman, trying to not inadvertently send the wrong signals.
But when I arrived back after eleven months away – this after four years of covering Iraq, it was hugs and kisses all around.
At the airport. Upon arrival to our armed compound in the Red Zone.
It was a feeling of homecoming. Despite all the times of anxiety and drudgery I had spent here, I still miss this dusty landscape.
Maybe my loyalty was burnished so deep because as their country almost slid into an abyss of bloodletting these colleagues whose country my country had invaded, watched and guarded over me. They took care of me and other fellow journalists while we tried to tell the world a story of war and its consequences that so many people had already turned away from.
American Dispatch: A Journalist's Journey
What is it like to report from a war zone? I don’t know the answer to the question that people have so frequently asked me. I don’t know, or maybe choose to not remember the scariest moments of my professional life working in conflict zones and wars.
American Dispatch: Death of an Ambassador
The photo of Chris Stevens on the cover of the New York Daily News made me flinch and look away while I tried to process the horrifying, visual details that underscore the distress he must have been in at the time of his death. Pulled by his undershirt, his face blackened by soot and smoke, he was clearly unconscious.
The caption read that he was being rushed to the hospital by Libyans. His mother gave an exclusive interview to the newspaper saying her son died doing what he loved and that his death left “a hole in her heart.” I had just tracked his mother’s words for a radio piece and took a few minutes alone behind the closed door of the edit room to cry for the first time since I heard that Chris had been killed.
A Libyan Road Trip
“Riders on the Storm… Riders on the Storm.”
This time, The Doors, are playing on my colleague Ahmad’s sound system in his new Toyota land cruiser as we fly down this Libyan desert road.
“There’s a killer on the road,” sings Jim Morrison ominously.
Well, these days I think, he’s farther west down the road – about 75 miles to be exact -near the oil port city of Brega. I’m referring to Qaddafi’s forces of course. I have no idea what the Doors were worried about.
This Year in Jerusalem
Jesus needed a bodyguard today.
Close protection for crowd control was provided for the man re-enacting his walk to his crucifixion.
Another man from the Christian ministry from Anaheim, California, “Christ in You” stood next to him taunting him carrying a whip, dressed as a Roman soldier -but the Israeli security was for real.
Thousands packed the narrow cobblestone streets in the Old City to make the pilgrimage on the -Via Dolorosa the Way of Sorrow. Catholic and Orthodox Good Friday converged this year making the scene busier than ever.