Friday, May 30, 2014

#empoblognov03 Whatever happened to Salam Pax?

One problem with my brief posting style in my early blogging days is that the brevity does not allow for context. Take the beginning of this post:

Salam Pax

The blog hero of the Iraq War is still around at

For the life of me, I couldn't remember why Salam Pax was a "blog hero." And doesn't help, because the blog has been removed. But luckily, a September 2003 BBC transcript contains the context that I failed to provide.

Whether experienced through the words or camera lens of an 'embedded' journalist advancing with coalition troops on the Iraqi capital, or via the unique insight provided by correspondents travelling with information ministry 'minders' throughout the city and perched on the balcony of the Palestine Hotel, the war in Iraq was arguably covered in greater depth by the western media than any other conflict.

However the then lack of free press in Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the obvious reporting restrictions placed on journalists staying in the city at the regime's discretion has led to criticism of the overall accuracy of many of these accounts chronicling the lead-up, duration and aftermath of the war.

For this reason, thousands of readers worldwide logged on to the homepage of Salam Pax (a pseudonym), the Baghdad resident who told of his experiences on the streets of the city as the war progressed. The online diary disappeared for some time as the front moved closer to the capital's centre and power supplies became erratic, but were then updated following the conflict.

The man formerly known as Salam Pax is now active on Twitter, and works for UNICEF in Beirut, Lebanon.
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