Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

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GAZA STRIP: In praise of Al Jazeera, Part 2

December 30, 2008 |  6:31 am

I almost pulled off a historic bit of journalistic sociology last night.

A producer with Fox News e-mailed me, asking for an interview on what the situation was like in Gaza. Like many people, he didn't realize that I'm not actually in Gaza and that Israel has prevented journalists from entering since the conflict began.

The poor guy was clearly desperate for some sort of on-the-ground perspective, and I saw my opportunity.

I told him by phone. "You know, I can get you in touch with a really good reporter and fluent English speaker who's been reporting from the Gaza Strip for months."

He got excited. I waited for a few seconds to build anticipation.

"His name is Ayman Mohyeldin and he's with Al Jazeera English."

I could actually feel him deflate through my cellphone. "Oh ... well, I don't think I can pull that off."

I sent along the contact information anyway, but I'm not optimistic.

Am I the only one that would set aside time and make a bowl of popcorn to see the Al Jazeera English correspondent interviewed live from Gaza on Fox News?

-- Ashraf Khalil in Jerusalem

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