Courage in journalism, Part II: RIP, Habibi

sarmad2A few months ago, my friend and colleague Lateef Mungin died quite suddenly. This morning, more shocking news awaited me.

CNN photojournalist Sarmad Qaseera passed away. He was 42.

Here’s the thing. Like Lateef, Sarmad was always smiling, always cracking jokes. His joy in life was infectious. I never heard him get bitter like so many other journalists in the war zone.

He came to America from his native Iraq and lived here in Atlanta. He told me how he lived with his ailing mother and was her primary caregiver.

He traveled constantly for work. He survived war zones, riots and disasters. But a long life was not to be his. It’s something a lot of my CNN friends are grappling with today.

I salute Sarmad for his courage and talent in journalism. I salute him for being the very best of humanity.

You are gone from us too soon, Sarmoudi, Habibi. It is a terrible, terrible loss for the world.

Check out this video of Sarmad talking about being a cameraman in dangerous situations:

2 Replies to “Courage in journalism, Part II: RIP, Habibi”

  1. Oh Ms Moni, I feel Your great pain …but You must try to focus on the Beauty Mr. Quseera brought to this Wondrous World in which we live …for it is IMPORTANT…He’s here! He is a Good Man. Some of us were meant to burn brightest in the sky and fill us with wonderment but fade faster …while others were meant to stay and pick up the pieces and try to make sense of it all. You are experiencing something I started experiencing a few years back…as old as our thoughts and wisdom might once have felt when we were young and invincible, It was nice to feel invincible, wasn’t it? …it is starting to come of age…we too are growing older… unfortunately these uncomfortable moments will begin to come with more frequency…are they any less painful?… NO! …what you are experiencing is growing older and growing into the sage skin of advice you and I used to give that felt foreign and yet a part of us. I feel Your pain Ms Moni, but try not to mourn the loss of your friend with too much grief in your heart …try instead to celebrate in his absence the beauty your friend Sarmad would want you to feel he was able to bring into your life. I am as sure that is what he would have wanted as I lay here crying over a man, a fellow journalist, a son, a comrade, another good human being that has passed before us that I have just learned of in part Thanks to you Ms Moni. Thank You…for picking up Sarmoudi, Habibi’s beautiful pieces and telling His story. As saddened as I am to know we lost another good one, physically here on earth …I am joyous in knowing He is here and will continue to be here with us and shine ever so bright among us! Can You not still feel Sarmad’s and Lateef’s Wonderful Smiles? Yes…They are Here! xo


  2. As if death by itself is not intriguing enough, when it jumps hoops and picks at random, at wish, without any particular logic or pattern, it almost seems damning close and real.


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