Archive for December 2010
I just got through freelance journalist Nir Rosen’s new 560 page book – Aftermath – in which he covers Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan and the violence that has hit the countries in recent years. Just thought I’d say a few quick words about a book that I haven’t been able to put down over the past week.
I’ve followed Rosen’s work for some time now and find it to be quite inspiring and refreshing in the current climate of journalistic work. In Iraq and Afghanistan in particular, Western journalists have largely been curtailed in their work simply because of danger. Such danger forces a perspective of the wars that emerges from behind the blast blocks or alongside US soldiers rather than out on the street. While Rosen does provide the necessary view from alongside coalition forces in both countries, he also shrugs off the danger and is able to gain unprecedented access to those in the resistance.
In his sections on Lebanon, Rosen shies away from the typical discussions of Hezbollah and instead focuses on the rise of Sunni militancy in the country, from its relationship to Iraq to Fatah al-Islam’s coup in Naher al-Bared and the formation of pro-Hariri Sunni militias in Beirut and Tripoli. Largely glossed over and ignored in the media, Rosen has done an excellent job at really digging into these topics and the book is largely worth reading for this alone.
As I wrote earlier, in September photographer Sam Tarling and I spent some time with Cairo’s Coptic Christian “garbage people” – the Zaballeen. Balancing their traditional way of life with the realities of modernity, the group is in a precarious spot today, despite their attempts to ambitions of recycling. The story was for Esquire Middle East ran in November’s issue of the magazine, and I’ve posted the PDF of the article online here.