Headline August 20, 2019/ '' 'SPRUNG ARAB SPRUCE' ''



In the years ahead, all the newspapers in the world combined, just won't be able to compete with Sam Daily Times : ''The Voice Of The Voiceless''.

We will have a reporter on the ground in every school, college, city, district, region, country, continent, in the world, reporting in every language conceivable. No action, no happening, no ill, no evil, will escape the students curiosity, investigation and reporting.

We then, will  honor every newspaper and every type of media in the world, with content and source. And for that time enough, to roll up our sleeves and get back to work.

And with that I return to the ongoing publishing and hand over the podium to Nadi Bakri, and get the students to relate and feel : ''What The Arab Spring Cost Me.''   

IN SCENE REMINISCENT of the street fighting during the civil war, Hezbollah men with machine gun battled government-supporters on the streets of Beirut, snipers took positions, and neighborhoods were littered with burned cars and debris.

The four days of fighting left at least 29 people dead and 19 injured.

On May 10, I went with my colleague Raed Rafei, who was working for Los Angeles Times, to cover the funeral of a young Sunni man who had been killed by a sniper two days before. The Sunni mourners believed that he had died at the hands of someone from their rival religious faction, the Shiites.

But the procession soon turned violent when mourners clashed with a Shiite man who refused to close his store that was located on the way to the cemetery. And when when mourners smashed his windows with rocks and chairs, he responded by opening fire.

I immediately got down and crawled to take cover behind a garbage container. Raed also hid. When everything had gone quiet, I emerged from my hiding place and saw two men who had been standing right next to me moments earlier lying on the ground in pool of blood.

Raed was standing over a body with a point-and-shoot camera. We had both survived and the two men had not. Their names were Ali Masri and Moussa Zouki. I still can't shake off the memory of that day or how senseless their deaths were.

By the end of May 2008, I had had enough of Beirut. Like the toxic fumes of burning tires that constricted my lungs, the conflict had become psychologically suffocating.

I decided to take a break and enrolled at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York City, When it was time to leave for graduate school, Anthony asked me to marry him and I said yes.

After graduating in June 2009, I moved to Baghdad to work as a reporter for The Washington Post. I was anxious about my new job, and about working with Anthony, who was widely considered the most successful foreign correspondent covering the Middle east.

I fretted about the stories I would write and and those I would miss and whether anyone would read anything I wrote at all. Anthony, now my husband was the bureau chief.

We had been married for a year but hadn't lived in the same city yet. He was a great partner, in marriage and at work. Together we brainstormed ideas, planned reporting trips, and sounded out the best translation of quotes from Arabic to English.

On quiet evenings, we watched American television shows while eating of vanilla ice-cream.
It was easy to sometimes forget that we were living in yet another country deep in turmoil.

In January 2010, three bombs exploded within minutes of one another in three separate neighborhoods in the city. The targets were hotels frequented by foreign correspondents and businessmen. The third blast was close enough to our house to shatter many of our windows.

It had struck the Hamra Hotel, which was across the street from the Washington Post building and home to many of our friends and colleagues. Anthony and I had just left The Post in December and joined The New York Times bureau in Baghdad.

I was seven months pregnant that day, and for the first time in many years, I did not want to go the bombing site. At that moment, I felt a bigger commitment to motherhood than to any new story.

By the end of 2010, Anthony and I, along with our new born son, Malik, were living in Beirut where Anthony had been appointed the bureau chief The Times and I was a reporter. The situation there and in the Arab world in general - save for Iraq - was stable.

But on Dec 10, 2010, a young fruit vendor set himself on fire in a Tunisian village following a dispute with the local police. A rebellion soon broke out, and the protests then spread to Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria.

I covered many of these events and whenever I had to leave Beirut, I worried that I might not return to see Malik.

On Feb 4, 2011, I drove to Damascus to cover a planned ''Day of Rage'' protest for The Times and headed for the Parliament building, where it was to be held. But no one showed up.

''Syria is the last country where a regime change will occur,'' a Syrian political activist and dissident told me later that day. I didn't want to believe him.

With respectful dedication to the Great Journalists, Great  Heroes of the Arab Spring, Students, Professors and Teachers, and then the world.

See Ya all on Facebook, prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! The Ecosystem 2011:

''' World Comes Calling '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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