It's strange to see a friend turn up in the news. I've done this for a living long enough to know that no story completely captures a person -- it's a snapshot, and all you can hope is that you framed it right and the colors are true.
So let me share a few snapshots of my friend Dorothy Parvaz, a great journalist who was taken into custody by the Syrian government last Friday.
My wife and I met Dorothy while we were at Harvard University in 2008-09 on a Nieman journalism fellowship. Dorothy came from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where she wrote editorials.
Dorothy hates having her picture taken. We put together a little yearbook for our group, and all our photos are in it -- except for hers. So she's going to be really ticked that there's a whole slideshow of her out there on the web.
Dorothy's a citizen of the world -- her mom is American, her dad is Iranian-Canadian, and she holds citizenship in all three countries.
She likes a good cocktail. She's always stylish, usually in various shades of black. Her eyes can throw daggers. But when you make her laugh you feel like you own the world.
During the year we were in Cambridge, Dorothy's paper up and died on her. The Post-Intelligencer went from a print edition to online-only. Because the printed paper still brings in most of the money, the P-I laid off almost all its staff, including her. So in the middle of what was supposed to be a glorious break, she was set adrift. We sought her out and hugged her neck. She was strong and tough that day. Still is.
After our year was over she went to Europe to be with the man who is now her fiancé. She got a job with Al Jazeera English and had recently covered the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It's not clear why Syria detained Dorothy. But as another friend of hers put it:
"Protestors are standing up to a violent authoritarian leadership. Troops are rounding up hundreds of people and taking them away. Innocent people are being killed. These are the things conscientious journalists care about. These are the things Dorothy cares about."
You can keep track of the situation on a Facebook page set up for Dorothy, or on the Twitter hashtag #FreeDorothy. The Committee to Protect Journalists is also on the case.
I don't talk too much about other journalists or the job of journalism on here. Thanks for indulging me this one. We love Dorothy, and miss her, and hope she comes home soon.