How to pronounce Yaroslav Trofimov: jaro-slav trophy-mov
Yaroslav Trofimov, an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, has extensively reported from Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. He is also the author of Faith atWar: A Journey on the Frontlines of Islam, from Baghdad to Timbuktu.
This biography was last updated on 12/06/2012.
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The Story Behind The Siege of Mecca
The idea behind the book was simple: many people with interest in the Middle
East know that something important happened in Mecca back in 1979, but virtually
nobody knows precisely what. The more passing references to the Mecca uprising I
heard while traveling in the region, the more I was intrigued.
In late 2005, I started to delve into the scarce material thats in the public domain. It hit me: the events of these two turbulent weeks in late 1979 were a true turning point in modern history. The story of the siege of Mecca really is a prequel to everything we know about Al Qaeda, a prequel that allows us to understand todays events in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond.
My reporting started with tracking down Paul Barril, the head of the French commando mission that participated in the siege. I found him in the Dubai Intercontinental, and spent many hours with him, hearing his first-hand account. Through leads supplied by him, I located and interviewed the other French participants in the Mecca affair. At the same time, in early 2006, I also trekked to the British Library the only place in Europe that keeps Saudi newspapers from 1979 and met...
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