A Stamped History of Marie Colvin’s Career. An Outstanding story about her work and life as a war correspondent and her passport is just reflecting this! The Passport Of A Tireless War Correspondent
Through the blurred ink of immigration stamps and festooned Middle Eastern visas, Marie Colvin’s passport reads like an illustrated timeline for her coverage of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s election, the rise of the Taliban, the Arab Spring, Muammar Qaddafi’s capture and death, and the conflict in Syria. After becoming a foreign-affairs correspondent for London’s Sunday Times in 1985, Colvin entered nearly every war zone on the planet right up to her death, in Homs, Syria, in February. With more than 150 stamps, this document confirms Colvin as the tireless reporter, always ready to board a plane headed for nowhere nice. T
In the previous year, I had sent an email to Marie Colvin, a journalist working for London Sunday Times who was unfortunately killed by government forces in the Syrian town of Homs. My intention was to meet up with her while covering the Arab Spring in North Africa. In my email, I had cautioned her about the complexity and danger in Libya, and she had responded on February 22 of the same year, inviting me to join her in Tripoli and offering her assistance. Her reply showed her friendliness and professionalism, and her final sentence struck me as ironic at the time. Sadly, I now realize that Marie’s words were prophetic, and she did die as a martyr. Despite her sense of humor, Marie was dedicated to her mission of exposing the atrocities and suffering in conflicts and wars, making her one of the most remarkable foreign correspondents I’ve ever met. Marie Colvin War ReporterTogether with the French photographer Remi Ochlik, Marie Colvin lost her life in the most perilous place for journalists in the world at present. She was determined to reveal the extent of the brutality committed by President Bashar al-Assad’s troops against his own people, and this led to her tragic demise. Despite her editor’s instructions to leave the country, she chose to stay and report from the frontlines. Her actions demonstrated her commitment to truth and the standards of civilization, making her a martyr in every sense of the word. Her final dispatches from Syria were harrowing and highlighted the extreme levels of violence inflicted upon innocent civilians. She reported that Syrians were not allowed to leave the conflict zone, and anyone who dared to step outside was at risk of being sniped or hit by a shell. Marie was deeply disturbed by the complete mercilessness of the situation and the shocking scale of the atrocities. Her focus was always on the ordinary victims, and she conveyed the terror she witnessed in the calmest possible manner.Assad’s forces targeted the house where she and the other journalists were staying, which underscores the dangers that they faced. Her bravery was unmatched, as evidenced by her actions during the East Timor crisis in 1999. She was the only journalist who refused to leave a compound where 1,500 women and children had taken refuge from Indonesian forces. Her presence there, together with the unarmed U.N. force, prevented an attack on the compound, and those women and children were eventually evacuated a few days later. Marie Colvin was an extraordinary foreign correspondent who went above and beyond the call of duty to tell the stories that needed to be told, and her courage will always be remembered.I often talked to her about that decision, and she said there had been absolutely no question in her mind about what she should do. It didn’t occur to her to leave with all her colleagues, though she felt a little sick in the stomach as she watched the trucks disappear.I had the privilege of sitting next to Marie Colvin at a lecture given by David Rohde, a journalist for The New York Times. Rohde had uncovered undeniable proof of the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1995, where Bosnian Serbs brutally murdered 9,000 men and boys. As I sat next to Marie, I couldn’t help but feel that she was the only other journalist I knew who possessed the same level of courage and determination as Rohde.
Marie Colvin’s unwavering commitment to her work came at a great cost. She lost an eye in Sri Lanka due to a hand-grenade explosion, and this incident was followed by a prolonged period of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, it is worth noting that throughout her recovery, she received unwavering support from Rupert Murdoch, the head of News International. He personally flew her to New York to explore options for saving her eye, and The Sunday Times covered all her medical expenses during her struggle with PTSD, which was essentially a nervous breakdown. Marie Colvin War Reporter
During the period when Marie was recovering from her injuries and PTSD, what stood out was her remarkable absence of self-pity. She never complained about the challenges she faced or the emotional toll of witnessing so much suffering. Despite her eye patch, she remained a fascinating and inspiring presence. She would often leave the clinic and join her friend Jane Wellesley for dinner, where she would regale them with stories of her experiences over the past two decades. My teenage daughters were amazed by her resilience and courage. Despite not having children of her own, she had a special ability to connect with kids and treated them as equals. She often emphasized that women could achieve anything they set their minds to, and she lived that philosophy every day.
Colvin hailed from East Norwich, a town located near the affluent Gold Coast of Long Island, New York, which serves as the setting for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. Despite being in war-torn regions, she exuded a certain amount of elegance that she carried with her. Even with the eye patch, she retained her graceful composure. However, despite spending extended periods of time abroad, she never lost her honest and grounded American sensibilities.
I had my initial encounter with her in the mid-1980s while sitting across from her at The Sunday Times. Despite her youthful appearance with a tousled mass of brown hair and a cheerful expression, she had already reported on the massacres that occurred at the Shatila and Sabra refugee camps in Lebanon. By that time, she had become one of the handfuls of journalists whom Yasser Arafat and Colonel Gaddafi were willing to grant interviews to. Marie Colvin War Reporter
Marie lived in an apartment that was rented to her by David Blundy, our colleague, who was tragically killed by a sniper’s bullet in El Salvador. They both shared a sense of honesty and an uncommon charm that Marie carried with her until the end. Whenever she attended social gatherings, she was always one of the most strikingly attired people, radiating with good humor and the affection of her countless friends.
However, she was not invincible; she was just as capable of love and vulnerability as anyone else. One time, she told me a story that made me laugh so hard I cried. It was about her arrival in Kosovo, where she was supposed to stay with two other journalists whose belongings she recognized in the room. As she contemplated the awkwardness of sharing a room with her ex-boyfriend and former husband, the dangers of Kosovo seemed to fade into the background.
The news from Homs has gone quiet this evening, leaving us unaware of the number of casualties or which parts of the town are being attacked. The reason for this is that one of the most courageous journalists who used to report from there has passed away, and we have lost a vital witness. Marie Colvin War Reporter
BY JACK DELIGTER, JAIME LALINDE AND MICKEY STANLEY, JULY 6, 2012
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