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Beware of those who seem to know what's going on: Robert F Worth on Aleppo


Former chief of the New York Times' Beirut bureau, Robert F Worth has used his years of experience as a journalist in conflict areas to write A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS.

For a book that is, in essence, a journalistic endeavour, A Rage for Order recounts the stories we read in the news day after day, through the eyes of people caught in conflict.

"...when we talk about the Middle East, we tend to use large religious and ideological abstractions-Sunnis and Shiites, secularists and Islamists. Worth brings those words back to their roots in the lives of real people, showing how people who never dreamed of making war or revolution ended up being unmade by them," writes Adam Kirsch in his review of A Rage for Tablet.

Worth, who was a Times correspondent in Baghdad from 2003 to 2006 before becoming chief, doesn't flinch from the threat he faces for his work. In this interview with Catch, he clinically states that he has lost friends - friends who were killed trying to tell a story.

While the battle with powerful regimes is a harsh reality, Worth says that what's really tough about his job is gaining trust. His sources, he admits, see him as an outsider, and thus he takes his time with asking them questions.

"Well there are certainly many questions you have to be careful about asking," says Worth. "Often they are the questions you most want answered, which you cannot approach directly, or not right away."

Durga M Sengupta @the_bongrel

Feminist and culturally displaced, Durga tries her best to live up to her overpowering name. She speaks four languages, by default, and has an unhealthy love for cheesy foods. Assistant Editor at Catch, Durga hopes to bring in a focus on gender politics and the role in plays in all our interactions.