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phone. Each phone call was $200. It was good because I was there in a local office. I did
some things for the local NPR affiliate, but it wasn’t paid. Those were the only things we
lined up ahead of time. The Philadelphia Inquirer picked up something from my blog ‘Live
From Baghdad.’ They paid a little bit. I have so much material, that I wanted to convert it
into a book or two. I was so immersed in the blog I poured my heart out.”
As a political commentator with insightful observations and analysis, Ayad’s voice can also
be experienced by reading his blog “Live From Baghdad” (2004 2005):
(http://ayadrahimtriptoiraq.blogspot.com), during part of which he worked from the offices
of the Iraqi Foundation. Later, after returning to the United States, he was also part of a
collective voice of commentators in The New York Times blog “Day to Day in Iraq” (2006):
(http://daytodayiniraq.blogs.nytimes.com/author/ayad-rahim/). There is a reflective blog-
post in this section about his move to the United States with his family. Here he mentions
the tragic poisoning death of his aunt with thallium in 1980 by the Saddam regime, the first
such case confirmed by Amnesty International. Click the following link to read “My Story: A
Life In and Out of Iraq” (2006): (http://daytodayiniraq.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/05/17/an-
introduction-my-life-in-and-out-of-iraq/).
He had a weekly radio program, The Ayad Rahim Show, 2005–2007, at John Carroll
University (WJCU), which was about 9/11 and the Arab world, and for which he interviewed
numerous guests about 9/11, the Arab World, Islam, terrorism and Iraq. Guest included
Dr. Fouad Ajami, Lebanese American scholar and writer; Geraldine Brooks, an old friend
and Pulitzer Prize winner; Christopher Hitchens, who discussed the left, today’s ‘antiwar’
camps and anti-Semitism; Adeed Dawisha, native of Iraq and professor of political science
at Miami University, who talked about the identity of Iraq and the 2005 Iraq elections;
Michael Scharf, professor of law at Case Western Reserve University, who worked for the
UN and trained members of the Iraqi Special Court for the Saddam Hussein trial; Dr. Laurie
Mylroie, about 9/11 and the 1993 attempt to blow up the World Trade Center towers; and
other commentators. Although the show is no longer airing, he plans to turn the interviews
into a book.
Resistant to Authority: I Don’t Work Well With Others
Ayad is asked how he landed on the freelance path? He laughs and says, “I guess I don’t
work well with others.” Ayad adds, “I prefer to be on my own. I’m resistant to authority.
I’ve worked in offices, but I remember when I worked in Washington at the ADC (American-
Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee) that was when I left OU (Ohio University) and before
I finished up my program they recruited me to work there.
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