|Patrick Seale (PatrickSeale.org)|
I believe I first met Patrick Seale in 1981, when we were both covering the first GCC Summit meeting in Abu Dhabi. I found it refreshing, as an academically trained Ph.D. then working as a journalist/analyst, to encounter journalists like Seale, the late Peter Mansfield, and Eric Rouleau, who had a deep academic and personal familiarity with the Middle East when that was rare (and considered rather suspect) among American journalists. I crossed paths occasionally with him after that, but not for some years.
For decades he was The Observer's Middle East correspondent, a position previously held by the Soviet spy Kim Philby, about whom he wrote a book Philby, the Long Road to Moscow. (Philby was also, of course, the son of another veteran British Arabist, H. St.John B. Philby.) In recent years Seale has written columns for a variety of newspapers including several in the Middle East.
Seale was a scholar-journalist of the first rank, without question, whether you saw him as an Asad apologist in his later years or not.