When Anthony Shadid—one of four New York Times reporters captured in Libya as the region erupted—was freed, he went home, not to Boston, Beirut, or Oklahoma, where he was raised by his Lebanese American family, but to an ancient estate built by his great-grandfather, a place filled with memories of a lost era when the Middle East was a world of grace, grandeur, and unexpected departures.
"An unexpected pleasure"
Determined to offer an unfiltered version of events, the Washington Post's Anthony Shadid was neither embedded with soldiers nor briefed by politicians. Because he is fluent in Arabic, Shadid, an Arab-American born and raised in Oklahoma, was able to actually disappear into the divided, dangerous worlds of Iraq. Day by day, as American dreams clashed with Arab notions of justice, he pieced together the human story of ordinary Iraqis weathering the terrible dislocations and tragedies of war.