house of stone


Anthony Shadid, who died in February at the age of 43 while reporting the crisis in Syria, was one of the most intelligent, experienced and well-­informed journalists covering the Middle East. In his writing, he showed a depth of intellectual inquiry and a skepticism toward conventional wisdom matched by few other correspondents. In 2006, Shadid visited the abandoned house of his great-grandfather in Marja­youn, a largely Christian town in southern Lebanon that, after a century of wars, was battered and decayed, and was cut off from its natural hinterland by the Israeli and Syrian frontiers. A few months later he returned to find that the upper story of the house had been hit by a half-­exploded Israeli rocket. In a defiant gesture to show that the house, “whatever its condition, remained a home worth care,” he bought a small olive tree for $4 and planted it near the wrecked building.

more from Patrick Cockburn at the NY Times here.