- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
On Saturday Mr. Al Essawy stepped into the cage, which was painted like an Egyptian flag, sporting a ponytail, a tank top scrawled with a pro-Palestinian slogan and the traditional Palestinian headdress, a kafiya, wrapped around his neck.
Despite vows he would be unarmed, Mr. Al Essawy brought with him a double-pronged spear, the satellite-dish "shield’ spiked with nails, a machete on his belt and a dagger strapped to his ankle. As Mr. Al Essawy strutted around the cage, spectators gasped. Cameras clicked furiously.
The lion, which Mr. Al Essawy refused to give a name—he didn’t want to "grow attached," he said—lazed in a prone position, gazing at the intruder even as Mr. Al Essawy thrust his spear toward its face. Mr. Al Essawy refused to attack first, he said, lest the Western press portray Islam as a violent religion.
After 20 minutes of watching the swaggering and speech-making, the lion briefly roused itself for a short roar when Mr. Al Essawy thrust his spear a little too close. But when Mr. Al Essawy hardened his jaw and grinned aggressively, the lion sat down, apparently unmoved even when Mr. Al Essawy called it a coward.
That was enough for Mr. Al Essawy to declare victory. He emerged from the cage, and friends and relatives lifted him onto their shoulders.
Trainers had apparently fed the lion an entire donkey just hours before the fight, which may have been the reason it was so sluggish. There’s a metaphor for something in here, somewhere.
Marines Ready for Chaos in Egypt; Snowden to Bolivia? Shelley Stoneman leaves the Pentago; An Army Four-Star in the Pacific; Drone Strikes in Pakistan and a bit more.John Reed
John Reed is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy. He comes to FP after editing Military.com’s publication Defense Tech and working as the associate editor of DoDBuzz. Between 2007 and 2010, he covered major trends in military aviation and the defense industry around the world for Defense News and Inside the Air Force. Before moving to Washington in August 2007, Reed worked in corporate sales and business development for a Swedish IT firm, The Meltwater Group in Mountain View CA, and Philadelphia, PA. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter at the Tracy Press and the Scotts Valley Press-Banner newspapers in California. His first story as a professional reporter involved chasing escaped emus around California’s central valley with Mexican cowboys armed with lassos and local police armed with shotguns. Luckily for the giant birds, the cowboys caught them first and the emus were ok. A New England native, Reed graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a dual degree in international affairs and history.| Situation Report |
Blake Hounshell is managing editor at Foreign Policy, having formerly been Web editor. Hounshell oversees ForeignPolicy.com and has commissioned and edited numerous cover stories for the print magazine, including National Magazine Award finalist "Why Do They Hate Us?" by Mona Eltahawy. He also edits The Cable, FP's first foray into daily original reporting, and was editor of Colum Lynch's Turtle Bay, which in 2011 won a National Magazine award for best reporting in a digital format.
Blake joined Foreign Policy in 2006 after living in Cairo, where he studied Arabic, missed his Steelers finally win one for the thumb, and worked for the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies. Blake was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Awards prize for young journalists for his reporting on the Arab uprisings, and his Twitter feed was named one of Time magazine's "140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011." Under his leadership, in 2008, Passport, FP's flagship blog, won Media Industry Newsletter's "Best of the Web" award in the blog category. Along with Elizabeth Dickinson, he edited Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future, the memoirs of former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.
A graduate of Yale University, Blake speaks mangled Arabic and French, is an avid runner, and lives in Washington with his wife, musician Sandy Choi, and their toddler, David. Follow him on Twitter @blakehounshell.| Passport |