Covering Sadat: The Middle East After the October War


Marshall 490
845 N. Park Ave Room 490
Tucson , AZ


Fri, 10/30/2015 - 3:00pm to Sat, 06/25/2022 - 6:06am

Join the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, The School of Journalism, and CMES for our Fall 2015 Colloquium Series

William Schmidt is a Professor of Practice, School of Journalism

As a reporter and Middle East bureau chief for Newsweek, I moved to Cairo in 1976, not long after Anwar Sadat booted the Russians from Egypt, and adopted his policy of “infitah,” which invited investment from the West.   The nearly three years I spent there -- between 1976 and 1978 -- were a period when US influence and diplomatic engagement appeared to be in the ascendancy, a trend that was capped with the negotiation of the Camp David accords between Egypt and Israel.   It was a time when, among other things, Americans and American influence were welcome in Egypt, and there was a sense – perhaps a very naïve sense -- that something positive (or at least positive, from a Western point of view)  might be dimly possible, despite the brutal realities of Middle Eastern politics.

Mr. Schmidt joined the faculty of the School of Journalism in 2013, after retiring as Deputy Managing Editor of The New York Times.  While he was a member of senior newsroom management at The Times for more than a dozen years, Mr. Schmidt spent most of his career as a field correspondent, both for The Times and Newsweek magazine.  He ran Times bureaus in Denver, Atlanta and Chicago and served as a correspondent in London, where he was deployed on assignments to Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.  At Newsweek, he ran bureaus in Moscow and Cairo, and worked as well in domestic bureaus in Miami and Chicago.  He shared the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for his work for The Times on the explosion of the shuttle Challenger; the 1971 George L. Polk award for the coverage of the shootings at Kent State for the Detroit Free Press and Knight newspapers, and the 1978 Overseas Press Club award for Newsweek's reporting on the war in Lebanon.


Co-sponsored by The School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies and The School of Journalism