Eric Rouleau (1926–2015) dominated news coverage of the Middle East in France and well beyond for decades as grand reporter and head of the Middle East Department at the authoritative French daily Le Monde. A third worldist, an unapologetic man of the Left, and a steadfast champion of the Palestinians, he nonetheless enjoyed unparalleled access to the Israeli leadership, the region’s heads of state both right and left, as well as opponents and revolutionaries of all stripes. This tribute, by a former associate editor of this journal and a friend of Rouleau’s for forty years, tells of a larger-than-life figure who began as a reporter at a small Egyptian newspaper and went on to become one of the most influential journalists of his time, adviser to the French president, and ambassador.
Linda Butler was for many years the associate editor of this journal. The preceding tribute draws on personal recollections froma forty-year friendship, the reminiscences and clarifications of Haig Kirazian, Alain Gresh,Michele Berrebi Rouleau, and Ahmad Salamatian, as well as Eric Rouleau’smemoir, Dans les coulisses du Proche-Orient: Mémoires d’un journaliste diplomate (1952–2012) (Paris: Fayard, 2012).