Tuesday, April 13, 2010

FAREED ZAKHARIA

He's a journalist and author, and often a host, or guest on TV.

Have you heard him, seen him, read what he writes for Newsweek, and the Washington Post?

On television, interviewing a guest on his CNN show, GPS (Global Public Square), he's very direct, un-fancy, likable. And he gives me a different perspective -- he's Muslim. I don't know any Islamic Muslims.

Here's what I've learned about him:

He's a naturalized American, mid-forties, living in New York City with his wife and three children. His father, Rafiq, was a politician with the Indian National Congress and an Islamic scholar; his mother, Fatima, was, for a while, editor of India's Sunday Times.

He has a B.A. degree from Yale, a PhD in Political Science from Harvard. He's written on a variety of subjects for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, and was a wine columnist for the online webzine, "Slate " (the only job in all this,that sounds like fun).

He's written three books -- "From Wealth to Power," "The Future of Freedom," "The Post-American World," (huge subjects, not books I'd grab and rush home to read). Forbes Magazine names Zakharia as one of the 25 most influential liberals in the American media.

Wow!

Okay, I'm a "newbie" journalist; I'm commenting about current things in a daily blog; I've written five novels; I'm sort of on TV -- doing a video weekly that's un-fancy, and hopefully entertaining. I'm definitely trying to grow and expand, and on a smaller level, do what Zakharia is doing -- writing and talking about what's going on in the world

What's special, what I admire about Fareed Zakharia is that he's not promoting any ideology (liberal, or conservative, or a political party). He says, "I feel that's part of my job ... not to pick sides but to explain what I think is happening ... I can't say, 'This is my team and I'm going to root for them no matter what they do.' "

That inspires me. I write posts (it's a job I gave myself), to find out what I'm rooting for and what I'm against. And give voice to it. So I'm listening, whenever I can, and I'm reading what this guy writes.

Trying to -- what he writes for Newsweek and the Washington Post, is hard to read, After the first paragraph or so, it's thickly written, with references (complicated, scholarly), to the background, the history of his topic, and I get lost. I start to skim.

I'm going to try harder. I want a different, broader perspective.

If you see something written by Fareed Zakharia, read it. If you see him on TV, listen.

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