Pierre Tristam is a journalist, writer, editor and lecturer. He is currently the editor and publisher of FlaglerLive.com, a non-profit news site in Florida.
A native of Beirut, Lebanon, who became an American citizen in 1986, Pierre is one of the United States' only Arab Americans with a regular current affairs column in a mainstream, metropolitan newspaper. The column focuses on the Middle East, foreign affairs, civil liberties, immigration and federal politics.
Pierre's work has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines in the United States and overseas. Since 1991 Pierre has collected 13 first-place awards from various state and regional professional press associations for magazine, column, editorial and commentary writing.
Pierre is a graduate of the United Nations International School in New York and holds a B.A. in politics and history from New York University.
I started trying to explain the Middle East in all its glories and follies, mostly to myself, while trailing in my mother's footsteps when she was a reporter during the Lebanese civil war. I don't think I've stopped. To say that what goes on in the Middle East affects lives in every time zone is trite, but still true: The region that once was the cradle of civilization now allegedly crackles with a clash of civilization that threatens all.
I don't believe in the clash theory, nor in anxieties that the Middle East somehow holds the rest of the world hostage to its disquiet. What keeps various factions from getting along in the Middle East is what keeps many of us in the West from understanding the Middle East, and perhaps responding to its various seizures more wisely: some prejudice, a great deal of misunderstanding, and that old stand-by of all things irrational: fear. A little well-tempered myth-busting can go a long way. That's the aim here.