TITLE

Baghdad Diary

AUTHOR(S)
Fassihi, Farnaz
PUB. DATE
November 2004
SOURCE
Columbia Journalism Review;Nov/Dec2004, Vol. 43 Issue 4, p36
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article describes the author's life as a "Wall Street Journal" correspondent in Iraq in 2004. On August 18, the author spent all day at the Convention Center inside a compound where most official activities take place. Getting there was risky today, because the roads leading to the checkpoint are shut down and people had to walk about a mile. All the security guards checking our press passes are wearing helmets. On August 22, the author's house has been transformed into a fortress. To get to it, you have to pass several roadblocks and checkpoints and negotiate a labyrinth of forty-foot concrete blast walls that surround the compound. Security has been increased, they have more guards at the gate and one on the roof. Sometimes it feels like living in a luxurious prison. The author read through the security reports e-mailed to them every day and discuss with the Iraqi staff new measures to make sure everyone is safe. On August 23, the Najaf crisis is escalating and the author wanted to find a way to go there. The author's friend Ivan Watson sent an e-mail from Najaf saying the road from Baghdad was terrifying. He lay down in the back seat for the entire three-hour drive, hiding under a sheet and heaps of plastic bags. They passed an aid convoy, including an ambulance that had been ambushed minutes before and was burning. Two photographer friends are stuck in the Imam Ali shrine with Moqtada al-Sadr's militia, because they cannot walk back through the sniper alleys and into the no-man's land of the old city. A French photographer friend got shot in the leg by a sniper as she ran for cover. And worst of all, Georges Malbrunot, a French reporter for Le Figaro newspaper, has disappeared on the road to Najaf.
ACCESSION #
14941843

 

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