Zeyad, blogger and journalist

Some big news in the blogging world, revealed today in the Wall Street Journal (free link):

Zeyad, the amazing blogger behind Healing Iraq, a founding father of the Iraqi blogosphere, has been accepted to the City University of New York’s new Graduate School of Journalism (where I’ll be teaching). But we all have to pitch in to help him get there, for one has to have tens of thousands of dollars in the bank before getting a visa to come to the U.S.

Zeyad will have a tip jar up where you can help him directly. But frankly, even with the best work of the entire blogosphere, I doubt we’ll be able to raise all the money he’ll need. So I appreciate any connections to likely funders: foundations, companies, or individuals who want to help build journalism in Iraq and the Mideast.

Zeyad is a born journalist. As soon as he started blogging, I told him he should give up his chosen field, dentistry, and take up reporting. He laughed at the time but now he has been reporting not just for his blog but also for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian (all of whom, I hope, will pitch in assignments to help bring him here!). And he is coming to the j-school in New York.

As the Journal story by Yochi Dreazen reports today, Zeyad has chronicled not only the events in Iraq from outside the Green Zone and from an Iraqi’s perspective, he has also chronicled his own view of the war with an honesty and lack of ideology not present from other sources. Zeyad began his blog elated at the prospects of freedom and today, surrounded by constant violence, his view of those prospects is quite different.

I’m very excited to have watched Zeyad’s birth and growth as an outstanding journalist. I look forward to working with him at CUNY. I’ll be writing about this more but I wanted to let you know about the news immediately.

  • mrbill

    Perhaps he can come in through Mexico. Seems to be the best alternative. Plus there are no repercussions. And he could get all the bennies then.

    And then Cardinal Mahoney and the Catholic church can take care of him.

    Until they lose their tax exempt status, or bugger more little boys.

  • I’m wondering about those folks who bankrolled the Yale Taliban? ;)

  • Kathleen A

    I am very happy for Zeyad and I hope to have the honor to meet him in person one day. He has a wonderful family and is a great embassador for Iraqis.

  • Great news, Jeff; great for Zayad — you deserve kudos too.

    Kudos to you!

  • SomeJoe

    I don’t understand this. He’s already far more accomplished as a journalist than most of the professional ones here. This just seems like a waste of his time. I’m thrilled he’s coming to the US, especially NYC, but he should be getting paid to be here, not paying to “study” something he’s already helped to reinvent. My near-total lack of faith in higher education, coupled with a disdain for most contemporary journalism probably isn’t helping my understanding.

    His tip-jar isn’t up yet. There should be a push to get Yale alums to contribute their Taliban-witheld donations to Zeyad instead.

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  • Dan

    Will he be able to survive an eastern J school?

  • Journalism is one of the most anti-American professions out there, and CUNY is without question one of the most anti-American instutions within the US.

    Zeyad had already take a turn for the anti-American long ago, so after spending time with the Che and Arafat-loving terrorists at CUNY, I’d be quite surprised if Zeyad does NOT come out of the experience ready to join al Qaeda.

    Congrats to Zeyad, but I hope he rethinks his choice. There has to be some way he could get a job somewhere instead.

    Someone get Fox News on the line.

  • Congratulations to Zeyad–although I agree with the poster above who says he is already an accomplished journalist. I am happy to see he is going to get a break from all the violence.

  • I was in his shoes 5 years ago when coming to U.S. from Russia. Good luck getting the necessary money – sorry can’t pledge anything, except for moral support.