Archive for the ‘Middle East’ tag
Adam Davidson went to Iraq to report on the war. He decided that rather than living in some journalist compound in the Green Zone or in a big hotel—places insurgents were more likely to attack—he’d fly under the radar, and keep safe…by renting a house in a residential Baghdad neighborhood. This plan turned out to have some serious flaws—flaws the American military forces were probably all too familiar with. This American Life producer Nancy Updike talked to Adam about his occupation strategy. (27 minutes)
Read my Harper’s article this story was based on.
Also: read an article by Jen Banbury, my wife, about the same stuff.
Adam Davidson reports from Baghdad on the charismatic, ambitious young Americans who want to bring freedom and hope to Iraq, if only the Iraqis would listen to them. There is a ominous information gap between the U.S. officials running the country and the Iraqi people being governed. (18 minutes)
Fadi is a 23-year-old unemployed computer programmer who lives in his parents’ apartment in a nice, middle-class neighborhood in Amman, Jordan. Down one street is the big Amman McDonald’s , down another is Fadi’s mosque, where he prays several times a day. Stocky, with a big, messy beard, Fadi speaks softly, hunched over, looking at the ground. When he makes an important point, he asks you to repeat it, and when you show you understand, he lifts his head, leans back with a great smile and says, ” Sah ,” ”correct.” One day, he explained to me in careful detail why he wants to be a shaheed , a suicide bomber against the United States, quoting at length from the Koran. But when he’s not talking about blowing himself up and killing American troops, Fadi talks about his other great dream. ”I want to be a programmer at Microsoft ,” he says. ”Not just a programmer. I want to be well known, famous.”
For an Iraqi perspective on the war, we hear from Iraqis who’ve just crossed over the border into Jordan. It’s the only open border with Iraq and 150,000 Iraqis live in Amman. Reporter Adam Davidson talks with a soldier who’ll probably fight in the war against the United States, a man who claims he was one of Saddam Hussein’s bodyguards and knows locations of hidden chemical weapons in Iraq. (18 minutes)
There’s a whole nation where the idea of suckerdom permeates almost every aspect of culture and politics. Adam Davidson reports on the Israeli word “freier,” which literally translates as sucker, but means much, much more. (7 minutes)
Ira Glass travels through Israel with Adam Davidson, who speaks Hebrew and has countless Israeli cousins and other family members. They find that the entire country has moved to the right in reaction to Palestinian violence—so far right that at a cafe of leftists, they’re no longer arguing about peace, but about whether the Palestinians are simply born animals or if they’re taught to be animals. (26 minutes)