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Old 02.11.2020, 10:36
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Robert Fisk, RIP

Probably the first journalist that drew me in with his passion on issues that were rarely given an unadulterated perspective. I always sought out his articles and he set a bar for journalism that remains a barometer for what I read today

There was a memorable line in one of his articles talking about Lebanon when he was in Switzerland that always sticks in mind on the perspective of how one part of the world & its people could be so difficult while others lived in pristine peace/beauty

I was a real admirer. A great voice for Palestinians & virtually the only reporter who refuted the US/UK propaganda coming out of Gulf Wars, RIP


I will remember him for several reasons:

1. His opposition to the Iraq war in 2003. As an on-the-ground foreign correspondent, it was very clear from his reportage that this was going to turn out to be a monumental disaster and that we were being lied to. He also predicted the carnage in Syria after the Arab Spring, as he was aware that Assad was not going to be easily got rid of.

2. His recommendation to read Sir Alistair Horne's A Savage War of Peace on the Algerian civil war. It's a quite remarkable work, one of the best of its kind given the extraordinarily emotive nature of the subject, as is the movie Battle for Algiers.

3. The fact that he showed up all the main protagonists back then (Bush, Blair, Sharon, Arafat, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Shin Bet, Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran, Khomeini, the Saudis, Hafez al-Assad, Bashir Assad, Netanyahu, and so on) for what they are or were. And that's what tends to infuriate the different supporters of that motley bunch. Nobody gets to claim the moral high ground from Fisk's perspective.

Fisk's writing also prompted me to read about Islam more extensively. Previously, my impressions of that faith been entirely negative. So if it wasn't for him, I might never have found my way to the extraordinary mystical writings of Rab'ia al-'Adawiyya, the sublime philosophies of Ibn Sina and al-Arabi, the wine poetry of Abu Nuwas, taqwacore music, Sufism, the teaching of Zakat, and some of the best and most inspiring academic writing that I have come across
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