Democracy Now! bids a fond farewell to Sharif Abdel Kouddous, our senior news producer for the past eight years. Kouddous joined Democracy Now! in 2003 just as the United States invaded Iraq. He was soon covering Iraq and then returned to produce the daily show, traveling to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, to the climate change conferences in Copenhagen, Bolivia and Cancún, and together with Amy Goodman to Haiti to cover the return of former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide just weeks ago. During the popular uprising in Egypt, Kouddous became the eyes and ears of Cairo’s Tahrir Square as he reported throughout the uprising. Kouddous is heading home to Egypt and will continue his work reporting as a Democracy Now! correspondent. [includes rush transcript]
AMY GOODMAN: Today we bid a fond farewell to Sharif Abdel Kouddous, our senior producer for the past eight years here at Democracy Now!, as he transitions to Democracy Now! correspondent. Sharif joined us in 2003, just as the U.S. invaded Iraq. Very quickly, he was in Iraq covering the country, then back with us producing the daily show, as we traveled to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, went to the climate change conferences in Copenhagen, in Bolivia and Cancún. We flew together to Haiti after the earthquake, saw the devastation there, then returned six months later to document what had and hadn’t happened. Sharif was also there on the ground in the last few weeks when former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide returned after seven years in exile to his homeland. And then there was the uprising in Egypt. Sharif became the eyes and ears of Tahrir for so many, hanging on his every word and tweet as he reported throughout the uprising. He became one of the top tweeters in the world from there.
From producing to reporting and co-hosting, Sharif has been a remarkable presence here. But even as we’ll miss his daily presence, we look forward to his continued reports, as he heads home to Egypt to continue to cover this critical moment in Egyptian history, in Middle Eastern history and world history.
Sharif, we thank you for your intelligence, for your humor, for your compassion, for your incredible powers of observation, for your heart. Sharif, we thank you for making Democracy Now! what it is today. Shukran and mabrouk.