Veteran Middle East journalist Ian Black dies, mourned by colleagues

Veteran Middle East journalist Ian Black dies, mourned by colleagues
2 min read
23 January, 2023
Journalists have mourned the death of Ian Black, The Guardian's former Middle East correspondent who passed away surrounded by family on Sunday.
Ian Black was The Guardian's Middle East Editor for nearly a decade [Twitter]

Colleagues of veteran Middle East journalist Dr. Ian Black have mourned his death, following his battle with rare neurological conditions.

Black spent 36 years with The Guardian, as a lead writer, and the European and diplomatic editor. He was best known for his role as Middle East editor at the British daily between 2007 and 2016, coinciding with the Arab Spring uprisings and other major regional developments.

He was hugely respected in the world of media, for his coverage of Palestine and Israel, writing three books on the issue, and was awarded a PhD in government from LSE.

His best-known book 'Enemies and Neighbors: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017' won huge praise for his honest account of the relationship between the two people in the land of Palestine.

"There is no sign whatsoever that this conflict is about to end, so understanding it matters more than ever," he wrote.

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Black was appointed as a senior visiting fellow at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 2016.

He was 2021 he was diagnosed with frontotemporal lobar degeneration and corticobasal syndrome, writing a moving piece with his wife Helen Harris about their experiences living with the rare disorders.

He died peacefully surrounded by his family on Sunday morning, The Guardian reported later that day.

Black spoke with The New Arab's podcast in 2020 about the struggles Palestinians faced under the previous Trump administration.

He was mourned by fellow Middle East journalists and academics, including Maya Gebeily, Beirut bureau chief at Reuters.

"Almost exactly 8 years ago, I was freelancing in Beirut & met @ian_black at  at a conference. He was thoughtful, patient, so well-informed - and unlike others, was very graceful in declining a pitch I sent him. Rest in power," she tweeted.