He no longer chases scoops or jobs in journalism, but Alnasseri still follows the news from Iraq. Word that Baghdad’s Hamra Hotel, where the Times bureau is located, was bombed in late January sent him into a panic until he learned that his former co-workers were safe. Sitting in the parlor, he and Susman, now a New York-based national correspondent for the Times, traded news of those colleagues, including the friend who first helped him land the job. And they reminisced about their time together in Baghdad—the long, intense days covering one of the most difficult stories either of them will ever know. “All of us got married when we were there in the office; all of us had children when we were there; some of us lost beloved ones,” Alnasseri said. “It was five years that will affect my life forever.”


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Vera Haller is an assistant professor at the Department of Journalism and the Writing Professions at Baruch College in New York. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of the newspaper amNewYork and an editor and reporter at Newsday’s New York City Web site, NYNewsday.com. She has also worked for Reuters and The Associated Press.