The Death of Fouad Ajami.
I do not usually remark on the death of the well known, whether they are celebrities or people elected to higher office, it is just not my style. Furthermore, it is simply inappropriate for a law firm´s website. But I will make an exception this time and remark on the passing of foreign policy expert Fouad Ajami who died last Sunday from cancer at the age of 68. Mr. Ajami was as well respected fellow at Stanford University and a familiar face on television news shows. I liked him very much and always listened with interest to what he had to say.
Over the years, I, like many others, had seen Mr. Ajami´s on television many times; he was always insightful and his comments helpful and well developed. But for me, it was his CNN commentary on the “Arab Spring” that sparked my interest and trust in this man I had never met but wish I could have. During those weeks and months, when history unfolded before our very eyes, Mr. Ajami helped many of us to understand and appreciate the remarkable events as they occurred before our very eyes. Regardless of how any one person might feel about what was happening to the region, the magnitude of the possible changes was tremendous. To me, it was obvious he knew the subject of the Middle East well, but just as important as his knowledge, was his passion for the subject that sparked my imagination.
CNN. News covered his passing with these words:
In a statement from Stanford’s Hoover Institution, where Ajami was the senior fellow, director John Raisian said the school “will forever miss his superb scholarship, quick wit and gentle spirit … whose life and intellectual contributions influenced so many.”
Ajami was a longtime frequent guest on CNN, who made regular appearances on “AC360” and the “Situation Room.”
Mr. Fouad Ajami has been described as “one of the most brilliant Middle East scholars of our time.”
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper tweeted out his condolences Sunday saying he greatly admired Ajami.”He was a great intellect and was full of grace and compassion. It’s been an honor to know him,” Cooper said. “He cared deeply about world events, and all those who knew him will miss his eloquence, his compassion, and his kindness,” Cooper added.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was a student of Ajami’s at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.
“I’m so sad to learn the brilliant Mideast scholar Fouad Ajami has passed away,” Blitzer wrote in a tweet Sunday. “My deepest condolences.”
Ajami was a naturalized citizen who was born in southern Lebanon in 1945.
He was an American University professor and award-winning author, who wrote more than a half-dozen books on the Middle East and Arab issues.
Raisian says Ajami’s writings included some 400 essays on Arab and Islamic politics.
In addition to his studies and his writings, Ajami was a contributing editor for U.S. News and World Report and a board member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ajami is survived by his wife Michelle.