In his remarkable reporting from Iraq, Anthony Shadid gave voice to the experiences and views of ordinary Iraqis affected by the war and its aftermath. His coverage, which included 24 front-page stories in the 21 days between the start of the war and the fall of Baghdad, provided readers with a window into the war unavailable elsewhere. As such, Shadid’s dispatches were very much in the spirit of Michael Kelly’s distinctive journalism during the Persian Gulf War a dozen years earlier. Shadid’s coverage also foreshadowed the problems the United States would encounter in its occupation of Iraq. Early on, he described the ambivalence many Iraqis felt towards the United States and he was one of the first journalists to highlight Muqtada Sadr, the young Shiite cleric who would become a leader of Iraqi insurgents. In displaying both physical and intellectual courage in his reporting from Iraq, Shadid embodied the fearless expression and pursuit of truth and was the unanimous choice as the first winner the Michael Kelly Award.
Anthony Shadid, 35, is the Islamic affairs correspondent for The Washington Post, based in the Middle East. Before that, he worked for two years in Washington with the Boston Globe, where he covered diplomacy and the State Department. Since September 11, he has traveled to Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Europe, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israel and the Palestinian territories. Prior to working for the Globe, he was the news editor of the Los Angeles bureau of The Associated Press. Shadid worked as a Middle East correspondent for the AP in Cairo from 1995 to 1999, reporting and writing from most countries in the region. The work ranged from day-to-day reporting on strife in the West Bank to interviews with the young fighters of the Taliban on the front in Afghanistan. From 1993-94, Shadid worked as an editor on the AP's International Desk in New York.
Shadid, an American of Lebanese descent, speaks and reads Arabic, offering him insights not available to most Western journalists working in the Middle East. A native of Oklahoma City, Okla., he studied Arabic at the University of Wisconsin and later as a recipient of a fellowship in 1991-92 at the American University in Cairo. He gained additional understanding of the region through graduate work at Columbia University in New York in 1993-94.
Shadid won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his work during and after the Iraq war. In 2003, Shadid was awarded the George Polk Award for foreign reporting for a series of dispatches from the Middle East. In 1997, Shadid was awarded a citation by the Overseas Press Club in the category of best newspaper or wire service interpretation of foreign affairs (The Bob Considine Award) for his work on “Islam's Challenge.” The four-part series, published by the AP in December 1996, was the product of nine months of research and dozens of conversations with religious sheikhs, students, activists and politicians. The series formed the basis of his book, Legacy of the Prophet: Despots, Democrats and the New Politics of Islam, published by Westview Press in December 2000. It was reissued in paperback in April 2002.
(Editor's Note: Anthony Shadid died in 2012. Everyone associated with the Michael Kelly Award expresses condolences to his family and friends.)