13 June 2009 1 Comment

A living foreign correspondent the most useless thing to media industry — Reviewing a "Novel of Jihad"

The magazine of Harvard’s Nieman Fellowship asked me to write an essay about Jeffrey Fleishman’s “Promised Virgins: A Novel of Jihad”. I wrote about why international correspondents like me and Fleishman, Cairo bureau chief for the LA Times, turn to novels to express the depth of what we learn about a foreign culture. Here’s how […]

20 July 2007 0 Comments

"Quick, woman, go and get the Koran!"

I have never been a religious man. Which is why I’ve always wondered why so many Palestinians want me to become Muslim. I’ve been asked, quite formally, to accept Islam on three occasions during the course of my reporting from the Middle East. Two of them I consider to have been somewhat pro forma queries […]