Abu Said Aburish
Grand old man of The Time Beirut bureau.
Abu Said pursued his career as journalist until his retirement from Time magazine, where he was the Beirut bureau's grand old man for 37 years, in 1989.
Aburish knew almost all the major players of the Middle East at the time, from King Feisal of Saudi Arabia to Yasser Arafat to a young Saddam Hussein. Those contacts served him well once he took to journalism. At the height of his career, he held court in the glamorous Hotel St. Georges in Beirut. From there he followed the activities of diplomats, adventurers and spies even as he entertained, networked and gathered intelligence for the magazine he worked for.
He moved to Beirut in the wake of the 1948 war that created Israel and dispossessed most of the Palestine's Arabs. The New York Times hired him to assist its correspondent there. He then moved to Newsweek, when the magazine asked him to open its Beirut bureau. When he realised that one Newsweek staffer was in fact working for the CIA he switched to Time magazine.
Abu Said decided to retire and moved to Seattle, USA, where he passed away.
Abu Said was born Muhammad Khalil Aburish in Bethany, Palestine, third son of the village chief. He is said to have made fortune showing Christian pilgrims around the tomb of Lazarus.
Compiled by:M. Nauman Khan