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A teen, a plan, an essay: Chistmas in Baghdad for Hassan - Rich Tatum
So, Farris Hassan wants to be a journalist. More: he wants to be an immersion journalist, the kind of writer who fully enters the story he's covering, risking becoming part of the story, and hoping to craft something fuller, with more texture, with greater narrative scope than traditional journalism. Problem is, Pine Crest private school student Farris Hassan is only 16 and his immersive experience could have cost him his life. Born of Iraqi parents, but fully American, with shiny nikes and stone-washed jeans, he thought it would be cool to skip Christmas, dodge his parents, and immerse himself in Baghdad. Yes, Iraq. Where Americans are kidnapped, ransomed, and sometimes killed. He's okay, though. Some grizzled AP reporters with greater experience and wisdom than Hassan called the US embassy when he arrived in Baghdad, and the 101st Airborne is bringing him back home. Excuse me while my head spins for a bit.... [read more]