I’m going to get a couple of things off my chest here.
Please read this article by my Cairo friend, now safe in Washington (well, safe might be a bit exaggerated, because, well, it’s Washington):
An American journalist, James Foley, was beheaded not far from here. This comes at a time when I’m reading armchair backers of this side or that side of the Israel-Gaza conflict complaining about journalists not doing their jobs, not getting out and covering the news, not defying the tyrannical regimes and telling the “truth.”
Of course it’s a problem–that’s why I wrote a 2,500-word article for TheTower.org about intimidation of reporters in Gaza:
But until you are personally willing to go to a place like that and march down the street with your camera and your microphone and defy the authorities, please give me a break and back off the journalists who are actually there. They are doing the best they can in life-threatening situations.
And if you look at the chart at the bottom of @nancyayoussef ‘s article, you’ll see that I am not talking academic theory here. This is a dangerous profession, and reporters get killed.
I spent two years in Egypt. During that time (I came home a year ago), colleagues were harassed, beaten and arrested. Now it’s worse than it was then, all over the region. There are people here who are glad I’m home now…and in my book, I promised to stay home. I’ll keep the promise. More than 40 years of running around the region is probably enough.