One had worked for the
development sector. Before that, he was a teacher. Before taking journalism
fully again, he worked with an aid agency in Iraq on a development project. First
he moved to Afghanistan.
Then he was in Libya where
he was abducted by Muammar Gaddafi loyalists in 2011 and was in captivity for
over 40 days but refused to leave the region and headed for Syria where he was kidnapped the
He wanted to tell the stories of
the people of the region to the world. He had said on his captivity in Libya
and his return there again: “You go through different emotions when you're
in captivity. These weird extreme ideas of where you are based on this capture.
You don't want to be defined as that guy who got captured in 2011. I believe
front line journalism is important [without it] we can't tell the world how bad
it might be.”
He freelanced and worked for Agence
France-Presse and GlobalPost among others.
He was James Foley, the first
American journalist killed in the ongoing Syria-Iraq conflict. Aged 40, he was
executed on August 19 by the terror outfit ISIS that has overrun the vast areas
of Syria and Iraq.
Rest in peace Sir.
The other had studied Middle-East
at after doing a journalist major from the University of Central Florida.
He wanted to know the region and began his career during the Arab Spring. Like
Foley, he was aware of the risks but was willing to take them in order to tell
the stories. He mapped the crisis hit countries like Libya,
Syria, Bahrain and Egypt. He wanted to work for people
of the region. He wanted their miseries to be known to the people of the world.
Like Foley, he also freelanced
and wrote for different outfits including the Christian Science Monitor,
Foreign Policy, the Jerusalem Post and Time.
He was kidnapped from Aleppo in Syria
in August 2013. After Foley’s execution, his mother released a video appealing
the ISIS and its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to
release his son.
The message read: “You, the
caliph, can grant amnesty. I ask you please to release my child. I ask you to
use your authority to spare his life.” But how can someone who is under the
command of the evil act humane?
Aged 31, he was Steven Joel
Sotloff, the second American journalist executed by the ISIS
the video of which was released by the terror outfit on September 2.
Rest in peace Sir.
Both of them had an urge to go
beyond the life of routine, to go beyond the extra mile to make sense of what
journalism actually is – telling the truth at any cost – and giving voices to
those who cannot speak. That is what humanity is. That is what human courage
(Images sourced from the Internet)