Shadid, Anthony 1969(?)–

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SHADID, Anthony 1969(?)–

PERSONAL: Born c. 1969, in Oklahoma City, OK; married (separated); children: Laila. Education: Attended University of Oklahoma; University of Wisconsin, degree in journalism and political science, 1990; attended American University in Cairo, 1991–92, and Columbia University, 1992–94.

ADDRESSES: Office—Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20071.

CAREER: Journalist. Associated Press, news editor of Los Angeles, CA, bureau, international desk editor, New York, NY, 1993–94, Middle East correspondent, Cairo, Egypt, 1995–99; Boston Globe, Boston, MA, foreign correspondent, 1999–2002; Washington Post, Washington, DC, Islamic affairs correspondent, 2002–. Joe Alex Morris, Jr., Memorial lecturer, Nieman Foundation for Journalism, Harvard University, 2004.

AWARDS, HONORS: Bob Considine Award, Overseas Press Club, 1997; George Polk Award, 2003, for foreign reporting; American Society of Newspaper Editors' Award, for deadline news reporting by an individual; Michael Kelly Award, 2004; Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, 2004.


Legacy of the Prophet: Despots, Democrats, and the New Politics of Islam, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 2001.

SIDELIGHTS: In 2002 Anthony Shadid was shot while covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict near the headquarters of Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat in the West Bank city of Ramallah while reporting for the Boston Globe. He went on to win a Pulitzer prize in 2004 for his work as a foreign correspondent for the Washington Post for his reportage of the war with Iraq and its aftermath. The Pulitzer board cited his "extraordinary ability to capture, at personal peril, the voices and emotions of Iraqis as their country was invaded, their leader toppled and their way of life upended."

Shadid, the grandson of Lebanese immigrants, studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo and became a fluent speaker of the language. His language skills, coupled with his understanding of the culture and politics of the Middle East, have enabled him to write with knowledge and detail about the region and its people. His Legacy of the Prophet: Despots, Democrats, and the New Politics of Islam is based on a four-part series produced for the Associated Press in 1996. Shadid, who was then based in Cairo, Egypt, spent nearly a year interviewing students, activists, religious sheikhs, and politicians. In the book, he points out that the Muslim religion is divided into many different sects, as is the Christian religion, and that these sects are susceptible to change and adaptation. He argues that many Westerners, especially those who identify terrorism with Islam, do not understand the religion. "While criticizing the brutality of Islamic regimes such as Sudan's or the violence of zealots, he shows that for many Muslims the politicization of their faith is mainly about protecting the 'disinherited,'" noted Kiran Nihalani in New Internationalist. As Shadid points out, most people in the Middle East derive their sense of identity from being Muslims first. Their nationality or pan-Arab identity comes second.

Shadid begins the book by introducing the reader to the identity issue faced by the um'ma (global Muslim community), then reviews the literature that explains the evolution of political Islam. He notes the political goal of religious violence and that militant Islam is an expression of injustice. In the third chapter, he looks at the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, through the eyes of the perpetrators. He differentiates between Islamic internationalists, who have adopted jihad, or holy war, as the sixth pillar of Islam, and Islamic nationalists, who seek partnership through democracy.

Rolin Mainuddin wrote in Perspectives on Political Science that Shadid emphasizes that "on the one hand, globalization—and the concomitant Western hegemony—threatens the political, economic, and cultural identity of the um'ma…. Viewed as a revisionist force, on the other hand, political Islam is resented and misunderstood in the West. The um'ma is not uniform in its political organization: it includes both authoritarian and democratic regimes. Faith is no longer enough for mobilizing the destitutes; success is predicated on implementing social services that address everyday needs of the people." Mainuddin concluded by calling Legacy of the Prophet "a timely contribution."

On the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Shadid phoned Phil Bennett, the Washington Post's assistant managing editor, asking that he be permitted to stay, even as other correspondents were pulling out. His request granted, Shadid stayed in the country and continued covering the region that had come to dominate the headlines. Shadid was writing a story about the Shiite uprising when he received word that he had won the Pulitzer Prize, journalism's highest honor. Sherry Ricchiardi noted in American Journalism Review that "Shadid's 'voice of the people' trademark resonates with supporters. They view his interviews with Iraqis in remote villages, marketplaces and Baghdad slums as filling a gap in American coverage." Ricchiardi said that it is through the eyes of these interviewees "that readers see how U.S. policies are playing out."



American Journalism Review, June-July, 2004, Sherry Ricchiardi, "Voice of the People" (profile of Anthony Shadid), p. 44.

First Things, December, 2001, Daniel Pipes, review of Legacy of the Prophet: Despots, Democrats, and the New Politics of Islam, p. 61.

Military Review, March-April, 2002, Simon J. Hulme, review of Legacy of the Prophet, p. 109.

New Internationalist, November, 2001, Kiran Nihalani, review of Legacy of the Prophet, p. 33.

Perspectives on Political Science, winter, 2002, Rolin Mainuddin, review of Legacy of the Prophet, p. 57.

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, April 30, 2001, Adila Masood, "Shadid Introduces Legacy of the Prophet at CCAS (Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University)," p. 86.


Editor & Publisher Online, (April 5, 2004), Mark Fitzgerald, "Pulitzer Winner Shadid: 'Embedded in the Soul' of Iraq."