A united Middle East, of sorts

Nice observation from Richard Sambrook on three friends united by journalism and varying degrees of trauma.

I was talking to Alan Johnston earlier this week (yes he is as decent and remarkable as he appears). He told me something which keeps playing in my mind. A little while before 9/11 he was one of three BBC correspondents having dinner one night in Cairo. They all had a deep interest in the Middle East and were discussing how events were likely to play out. The other two were Frank Gardner, later shot and badly injured in Saudi Arabia and Caroline Hawley who reported from Baghdad for a number of years until she took a break in Amman on the night a suicide bomber blew up her hotel (she was uninjured). Alan of course was kidnapped in Gaza earlier this year. His story is being told by Panorama next week. Three very talented and commited reporters, friends, who together have experienced the sharpest end of the Middle East.