THE PICTURES IN
“The United States lost the public relations war in the Muslim world
a long time ago. They could have the prophet Muhammad doing
public relations and it wouldn’t help.”1
—Osama Siblani, publisher, The Arab American News
DARK, SLENDER, AND HANDSOME, AS WELL AS A CERTIFIED foreign policy wonk, Fareed Zakaria has been called everything from an “intellectual heartthrob”2 to a “junior Kissinger.”3 When he isn’t on the road, he oversees the international editions of Newsweek magazine from a spacious corner office in a midtown Manhattan skyscraper. Although he carries the title of “editor,” he seldom actually edits anything in the sense of marking up copy. His job is to come up with story ideas for Newsweek’s ten international editions, in addition to writing a biweekly column that is also syndicated by The Washington Post. That’s his day job. He is also a very popular public speaker; writes books; hosts a half-hour weekly program on PBS, Foreign Exchange; and is a regular guest on both ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos and Comedy Central’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He even used to write a wine column for the online magazine Slate. Straddling such dissimilar worlds seems to have been his destiny.
Zakaria was born and raised in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, to a father who was a popular political figure and a mother who was an