Richard Curtiss

Memorial Service to Remember Richard H. Curtiss
(June 13, 1927-Jan. 31, 2013)

You asked us to notify you about the memorial service for Richard H. Curtiss, a retired Foreign Service officer and executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, who died on January 31, 2013.

Donna Curtiss, his wife of 62 years, and the family will hold a memorial service to celebrate his life with friends, colleagues and fellow peace activists at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, at St. Alban’s Parish Church, 3001 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20016. Parking is available nearby in the Washington National Cathedral’s underground parking garage.

Thank you for the deeply moving notes we’ve received from community leaders, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, readers, writers and former interns, as well as those from Foreign Service friends and neighbors. Please don’t bring flowers—just your good memories to share.

 

Education and Experience

Richard H. Curtiss, a retired Foreign Service officer and executive editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs died on January 31, 2013 in Kensington, MD. Richard Curtiss was born in 1927 and earned a degree in journalism at the University of Southern California. After U.S. Army service in Berlin he worked with United Press International (UPI). He joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1951, and served in Indonesia, Germany, Turkey, Lebanon, (on three separate assignments), Iraq, Syria, and Greece. He was deeply proud of his work with Voice of America’s Arabic Service from 1970-1973. He retired in 1980 as the Chief Inspector of the United States Information Agency (USIA). During his U.S. government career he received the USIA’s Superior Honor award for his service as the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Officer (PAO) in Lebanon during that nation’s civil war and the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy, USIA’s highest professional recognition, in 1974.

Publication and Films

Following his retirement from the U.S. Foreign Service in 1980, Curtiss co-founded the American Arab Affairs Council (now the Middle East Policy Council) in 1981. He joined U.S. Ambassador Andrew Killgore and British Ambassador Edward Henderson to co-found the American Educational Trust (AET), a non-partisan, non-profit foundation aimed at increasing mutual understanding between Middle Easterners and Americans, in 1982. AET publishes the award-winning Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, of which Mr. Curtiss was executive editor. He also helped launch the Council for the National Interest in 1984.

He was the author of A Changing Image: American Perceptions of the Arab-Israeli Dispute, a history of U.S. involvement in that conflict from World War I to the present. The book has been commended by former Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter for its balanced and informative approach to a highly politicized topic. His second book, Stealth PACs: Lobbying Congress for Control of U.S. Middle East Policy, now in its fourth edition, lists donations by all Middle East-related political action committees to all candidates for Congress from 1976 through 1996. He was also co-editor of a third book, Seeing the Light: Personal Encounters with the Middle East and Islam, published in 1997, containing 74 first-person narratives by separate authors. Mr. Curtiss also wrote and directed two one-hour educational films: “Oases of the Sea: The Arab States of the Gulf” and “Sacred Land: The Oasis Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Curtiss wrote extensively for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs on an array of topics, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the role of ethnic and religious lobbies seeking to influence U.S. Middle East policy. He spoke about U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East on many radio and television programs, and wrote a weekly column for the Arab News, published in Saudi Arabia, and other English-language newspapers in the Gulf. Curtiss received awards from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) in 1992, from the Council for the National Interest (CNI) and Partners for Peace in 1993, from the United Muslims of America and the Islamic Association for Palestine in North America in 1994 and from the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development and the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine in 1995. He was deeply interested in archaeology and donated his extensive collection of antiquities to Emory University.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?pid=162803714

Here are some of his articles he’s published in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, over the years that are still pertinent today:

Dec. 1997, Pages 43-45 The Cost of Israel to U.S. Taxpayers: True Lies About U.S. Aid to Israel

Sept. 1998 An Obituary for “the Middle East Peace Process

Sept. 1999, Pages 12-13 Muslim and Arab Americans Start Coordinated Political Action on Secret Evidence, Jerusalem, Elections

Sept. 1999, Pages 21, 119 By Starting Now, Arab Americans and Muslim Americans Can Make Election Year 2000 a Turning Point

Sept. 1999, Page 45 The Cost of Israel to U.S. Taxpayers: U.S. Aid to Israel Now Exceeds $90 Billion

June 2003, Pages 24-26 Rupert Murdoch and William Kristol: Using the Press to Advance Israel's Interests

Nov. 2006, Pages 12-13 In Sixth Arab-Israeli War, Hezbollah Survives, Israel Loses, Bush Missing in Action

December 2006, Pages 22-23 Tony Judt and Israel: The Country That Wouldn’t Grow Up

March 2007, Pages 30-31, 33 Requiem for Saddam Hussain

May-June 2007, Pages 28-29 Israel’s Hush-Up Machine in Action: Denying Story Israel Executed Egyptian Prisoners

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Messages We’ve Received From Near and Far

For me, Dick was a great mentor and a true hero. His example inspired a great many in the struggle for peace and justice in Palestine.

Les Janka, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

 

When we were together at USIA, Dick Curtiss was always an inspiration to me for his skillful teamwork and his superb ability to relate to people of other cultures. After USIA, he undertook a pioneering effort to educate Americans about the Middle East that continued until his last days, and that will always serve as a role model for the rest of us who believe in the principles of fairness and justice that he stood for, but did not have the amazing persistence and courage that he had.

Ambassador Bill Rugh, Washington, DC

 

Dick was a tireless and fearless fighter for truth about the wrong-headed American foreign policy. Thankfully, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs will continue and thrive because he and Andy set a foundation that will survive them. We are all thankful for his immense contribution and endurance under the most difficult of circumstances.

Abdeen Jabara, New York City, NY

 

I’m so sorry to hear of Dick’s death. He was a treasured friend and a long-time fighter for justice, not only for Palestinians but for everyone.

Jim Abouresk, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

 

This is very sad for all of you, I know. I’ve never been able to tell Dick how grateful I am to him, and I’m sure there are so many others like me who didn’t know him personally but owed him so much. He leaves a great legacy.

Rachelle Marshall, Mill Valley, CA

 

He was indeed a source of inspiration to me when I first started writing on this issue in 2000. The world needs more Dick Curtiss’ and we are definitely poorer for his passing.

Kristin Szremski, American Muslims for Palestine

 

Very sad to learn about the passing away of Richard Curtiss. He was a very distinguished gentleman to whom we the Palestinians and Americans are indebted for his moral and political courage.

Afif and Christ’l Safieh, London, UK

 

Huwaida and I send you our deepest condolences. He will not be forgotten, and we all continue his uphill struggle...

Adam Shapiro, via e-mail

 

My condolences on the passing of your father. Reading through the retrospective  on the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, web site made me understand how much impact this talented man had on the world. He’ll be missed.

Grant Smith, Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Washington, DC

 

A truly shining light has been dimmed, but never extinguished, because others will carry the torch.

Sushila Cherian, via e-mail

 

Having followed Dick Curtiss’s and Andy Killgore’s efforts from the beginning, I have the greatest respect for anyone who, long after he could have retired, stayed in the fight for justice and the U.S. national interest in the Middle East.

John Richardson, via e-mail

 

A Titan departs having fought the good fight.

Mowahid Hussain Shah, Potomac, MD

 

I worked with Dick at USIA for many years and it was always a pleasure to be with him at some meetings. He was a great man and did an excellent job there and thereafter in helping start the magazine. It is not only because he was pro-Palestinian, it was  his personality that was endearing.

May Allah rest his soul.

George Hishmeh, Kensington, MD

 

It is true that Richard Curtiss “did not live to see peace in the Middle East and a more fair and rational U.S. foreign policy.” However, his courageous work in helping to create and publish the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, is in itself monumental. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs has been the key source of information and honest reporting on the Middle East issue for thousands of us who share his dream for peace.

Vince and Louise Larsen, Billings, MT

 

What a shame. Lovely guy. People like him, Andy and Gene Bird reminded me of a kinder, gentler USA foreign policy.

Ian Williams, New York City, NY

 

Dick was a great man and will be sorely missed. I loved him and have great memories about him. May God have mercy on his soul and give his family and friends patience.

Sami, Nahla and the Al-Arian family, Bethesda, MD

 

My deepest gratitude to a man who told the truth that others avoided. Thank you, Richard Curtiss, for your talent, dedication and integrity...

Alison Weir, CNI, If Americans Knew

 

What an amazing life he lived in the Foreign Service, experiencing the world and many of its cultures. A legacy of his foreign travel and interests will live on at the Carlos Museum in the Curtiss Collection, a very meaningful gift which will be used in teaching and research for years to come.

Bonnie Speed, Emory University

 

He truly was a giant among men. I still remember speaking with him back in the early ‘90s as a law student trying to get into political writing and he so patiently guided me, encouraged me and gave me the confidence to continue. I’m giving four library subscriptions in his memory.

Faisal Kutty, Toronto, Canada

 

It is with great sadness that we learned of Dick’s passing. We shall all miss his intelligence, wit, and drive for justice. On a personal note, he was encouraging and so welcoming of those of us newly minted to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and writing about it.

He, Ambassador Killgore, Janet and all of you at the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,—and of course Delinda and other family members —remain an inspiration to us all. We remember him fondly.

Laura Cooley and Imad Abi-Saleh, Seattle, WA

 

I am very sorry to hear about the passing of Richard Curtiss. Although I did not have the opportunity to meet him last summer, I feel as though I owe a great debt to him. My short summer at Washington Report on Middle East Affairs has not only stoked in me a passion for writing, but also a passion for taking a stand on issues relating to the Middle East, especially unpopular ones. Without his courage to start the magazine and yours to continue running the magazine, I may never have had that opportunity. I might even be going to work for a defense contractor (what a horrid thought). I just thought you should know the impact Mr. Curtiss had on me and we never even met.

Keenan Duffey, Summer of 2012 Intern

 

Richard gave me my first opportunity to get published back in 1998 when he suggested I write for the magazine about an event he was attending in my native Chicago. That blurb led to me eventually becoming the Chicago correspondent for Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

On a personal note, I knew Richard to be kind, patient, and supportive of all things Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian. I pray that his legacy not fade, and that one day the people of Palestine will pay him homage by naming a street or a school after him.  Such a gesture would be most fitting

Raeed N. Tayeh, Assistant Editor, Akron Law Review

 

I write through my tears, but at the same time I am so very grateful that I had the opportunity to know him and work for him. He will always be an inspiration to me.

Michael Gillespie, Maxwell, IA

 

In Dick’s passing I suffered a great personal loss. He was always ready when I called or dropped by the office. He was one of the great people of my experience. A patient, wise, thoughtful friend who never failed to provide an encouraging, helpful hand.

Paul Findley, Jacksonville, IL

 

Dick Curtiss’s death is a heavy personal loss. The cause of justice has lost great champion who never gave up.  For almost thirty years I followed his work closely as an admiring friend.

Years ago he told me, “Andy and I decided the most useful thing we can do in retirement is promote American understanding of the Arab world. We have never regretted that decision. The magazine gives me a good reason to get out of bed each morning. He and Killgore were inseparable. Once when I met Killgore, he said, “Let’s go and sit with Dick. For some reason I can always think better when Dick is nearby.”

It is probably not well known that they contributed generously from personal funds to maintain magazine quality and survival. 

Paul Findley

 

My condolences to the very large, transcontinental extended family. Mr. Curtiss was a man of courage and principle. His presence and influence will be greatly missed; but his sterling legacy will live on.

Mauri’ Saalakhan, Silver Spring, MD

 

Your loss is the loss of millions of Palestinians—and of those of us who work on their behalf.

Dick gave us courage and, above all, credibility. He spoke with enormous authority and knowledge, and we all drew on that.

John F. Mahoney, Americans for Middle East Understanding, New York, NY

 

Thank you for your prophetic voice, your love of humanity and your courage to shed light on the lives of the much maligned people of the Middle East.

Rosemarie Carnarius and Aston Bloom, Tucson, AZ

 

On behalf of the Institute for Palestine Studies family, allow me to extend my heartfelt condolences to the Curtiss family and Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Dick Curtiss has been a fixture, pillar and driving force of the Palestinian scene in Washington for so long that one can hardly imagine the constellation without him. I am personally thankful that he was one of those who extended a mentoring hand to me when I arrived in DC some 20 years ago. He has touched many lives and will be deeply missed. While a star in our universe has dimmed, a new star in the heavens shines brightly...

Michele Esposito, Washington, DC

 

What a great void is left by the passing of this wonderful man. Over the past 30 years, he stood as a courageous hero speaking out for justice and truth no matter the consequences. I sought his advice, admired his steadfastness, and was always in awe of his unwavering commitment to educating the American public. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, is his legacy; the best way we can honor this great human being is to support the magazine he founded, ensure that it continues to be a voice of truth for years to come.

Vicki Tamoush, Tustin, CA

 

My condolences to the Curtiss Family and to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs Family. He was a brave man seeking to balance the unfairness of the Middle East. He has now found true Peace at last!

Bob Michael, via e-mail

 

We at ADC will always be indebted for his life long commitment to advocacy regarding the Arab world and the Palestinian diaspora.  He will be missed, but fortunately his legacy will continue through the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and his publications.  More importantly, he will be remembered through the activists he inspired, me being one of them, who continue to advocate for a just peace and accurate understanding of the Arab world.

Warren David, ADC President, Washington, DC

 

Curtiss was a great man who genuinely “walked the talk.”

Jeff Gates, Tempe, AZ

 

We were saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Dick Curtiss. We served together in the U.S. Information Agency. He was an inspiration to all of us who want a better world for the Palestinian people.

C. Edward Bernier, Rincon, PR

 

The biggest painful event in recent memory. May God bless him and give his family the strength to bear the loss of a stellar human being.

Dr. Wasim Ali, MD, via e-mail

 

I am so sorry to hear one of the saddest pieces of news of my life.

Dr. Agha Saeed, Newark, CA

 

From the beginning days of our friendship [which began in Beirut in 1974] we were united by a common bond—the quest for peace and justice for the oppressed people of Palestine. Everyone blessed to know him will miss him so. May his Memory be Eternal!

Jack and Bernice Shaheen, Hilton Head, SC

 

As long as the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, exists, and when there is true and just peace in the Middle East, he will be remembered as one who helped it come about.

Tony Litwinko, Glendale, CA

 

There is no nobler life than serving the pursuit of truth and justice. He will be missed.

Jack Robinson, Fort Collins, CO

 

I, like thousands of people interested in Middle East politics, will miss his objective analysis of the area. He was a shining light on the distorted foreign policy of the U.S. in the Middle East.

Prof. Ayad Al-Qazzaz, California State University, Sacramento, CA

 

We deeply appreciate his work, and we are sorry it was necessary. What more noble cause than to dedicate oneself to the pursuit of justice and allowing the truth to be known?

Allam Nazzal, Houston, TX

 

I learned so much from Mr. Curtiss through the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and Stealth PACs. His contributions to move U.S. policy toward justice will live on. Blessings to the Curtiss family. May he rest in peace.

Dahlia Wasfi, M.D., Newark, DE

 

No words can truly express what Dick has meant to us. A true friend who will forever be remembered as a kind, gracious human being. With his gentle voice and caring nature, he touched many lives and it has been an honor to have known him. We treasure our memories with Dick, Donna and wonderful family. You are in our hearts and prayers.

Abdel-Rahman, Tita Ziad and family, via e-mail

 

I am so sorry for your loss (our loss) - your dad was truly loved by so many. He was a statesman in the best sense of the word.

Andy Shallal, Busboys, Washington, DC

 

I corresponded with Richard Curtiss on a number of occasions when he was the editor of The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. He published my writing and reviews in his enlightening publication. He always had kind and encouraging words to offer to me as a fellow seeker of truth and justice. He was a sincere and dedicated individual who tirelessly worked for justice and humanity throughout the world. He will surely be missed by all of us who have had the pleasure to have known him.

Srinidhi Anantharamiah, Melbourne, FL

 

We appreciate all the good work Mr. Curtiss did, with his wonderful wife Donna by his side, both overseas and here back at home, in the U.S.

May he rest in Peace.

Ghassan and Henriette Sabbagh with Family, Reston, VA

 

He will be truly missed...both as a wonderful human being and for his commitment to justice for all people.

Andy Amid, Henderson, NV

 

I’ll always remember, I called Mr. Curtiss personally and thanked him for converting me from being a former Zionist supporter. I will always recall his warmth and simplicity acknowledging my gratitude; I’m so glad I told him.

Russell D. Scardaci, Cairo, NY

 

With great sadness I learned of your father’s passing. What a man of courage and integrity; a champion of justice—like my dad. I take comfort in picturing them together now.

Richard Curtiss’s obituary of my father is a biographical statement I often turn to. I am grateful to him—and to you for carrying forward his legacy.

Anisa Mehdi, Maplewood, NJ

 

In your sorrow at your father’s loss, we wanted you to know how much your father’s appreciation of Mohammed Mehdi’s life meant to me and the Mehdi family in our time of grief.

We wished to share these words which Raji Daher composed and printed in the old moveable type press used by Kahlil Gibran in Brooklyn. We feel they so very well express the sentiments of your father as they appeared in his own work.

With much affection.

Beverlee and Peter Bolton, Alexandria, VA

Burn that which was my body and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.
If you must bury something, let it be my faults
My weaknesses and all prejudices against my fellow man.
If by chance you wish to remember me
Do it with a kind deed or word
To someone who needs you.
And if you do these things,
I shall live forever.

—Raji Daher

 

I was in Cairo when I heard the news of the death of your father. I am so sorry.  He was important in my life as a mentor and a model to so many as one who spoke his mind and stood for what he believed in.  You have to be very proud.

Let me know if there is anything I can do.

Marjorie Ransom, Washington, DC

 

Please let us know if there’s anything we can do. I know there are many things to attend to—be happy your father co-founded an international institution to establish justice for Palestinians.

Pat and Samir Twair, Los Angeles, CA

 

My deepest sympathy to you and your family over the news that just went out on Washington Report on Middle East Affairs of the passing of your Dad. His obit in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs has a very special place in my heart—for all his exemplary work, representing American Arabists living in the Middle East in the 60s and 70s. 

Dave Williams, Tucson, AZ

 

Please accept our condolences on the passing of Richard Curtiss. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Christopher Bollyn and family

 

All my sorrow and condolences for the loss of Mr. Richard Curtiss.Sameh Al Al Fonse, League of Arab States, Washington DC

I heard the sad news from Alison Weir.  We grieve with you for your great loss, and we grieve for losing Richard Curtiss, a champion for justice through the voice of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Please relay my heartiest condolences to your family. I am sure he will be greatly missed. Bless his soul; may he rest in peace. 

Samia Khoury

 

I want to extend to you our condolences on the passing of your father. As I read his bio he seemed to be a dynamic person, which I could have guessed, because I think you are a dynamic person. Please know that all of us at HCEF are praying for you.

Karen E. Gainor, HCEF, Bethesda, MD

 

Tim and I wish to send you our sincere condolences regarding the loss of your wonderful father. We hope that you, and your family, are doing well at this time, as you now must adjust to life without him. It’s never easy to lose a beloved father, especially one as wonderful as your dear dad. He had a huge impact on us all, and set an example through his hard work and dedication in helping Palestinians and Arabs be better known throughout the country, and world. Without Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, there would have been no balance to the innumerable imbalances made against them.

Tim and I would like to make a donation in his name. We can make it to Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, but wanted to check with you first. Again, our loving sympathy goes out to you and your family, dear Delinda.

Barbara Ferguson (and Tim), Virginia

 

Please accept my belated condolences on the loss of your father.

He made an invaluable contribution to helping me and countless others better understand the Middle East. 

Maidhc Ó Cathail, via e-mail

 

It was with great sadness that I read of your father's passing and I am so very sorry for your loss. Your father has been influential in my life directly and indirectly for the last 20 years (reading the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,, petitioning libraries to carry the magazine, interning at Washington Report on Middle East Affairs in 1997, inviting Mr. Curtiss to speak at UVA). I have always been so impressed and touched by his dedication to the cause of peace in the Middle East. I am sure I speak on behalf of the millions of people whose lives he has touched through his work: we will miss him greatly. His legacy will carry on through Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and of course through you—his family.

I wish you and your family some peace and comfort during this difficult time. I hope you can also convey my deep sympathy to your mother.

Dina Tamimi, via e-mail

 

I recently heard the sad news about the passing of your father. Please accept my most heartfelt sympathies for your loss. Even though I worked at Washington Report on Middle East Affairs for only a short period of time, I could see how kind and thoughtful your father was. On a more personal note, my mother recently passed away three years ago and so I can understand your feeling of loss during this difficult time. I just wanted you to know that my thoughts are with you and your family.

Nadya Saber, former Washington Report on Middle East Affairs Admin Director

 

I am sorry to hear of your father’s passing. I know you cherish unique memories from the full, rich life he lived. His many achievements are an inspiration to lots of family, friends, and supporters—and to many more allies you may not know.

Peter Gemma, CFRE, Washington, DC

 

I’m sorry to hear about the passing away of your father.

I deeply appreciate the great work he has done and the courage it has taken for both you and your dad to continue this truth-telling battle.

May God bless you and your family.

Henry Ode, via e-mail

 

I was so sorry to learn of the passing of your father. I wish you, your brother, and your mother peace and comfort in the knowledge that your father was a wonderful man and a tireless advocate for justice in the Middle East and a more evenly balanced U.S. foreign policy. He lived a full life and you can certainly be proud of him. In any case, I'm sure he's in a much more peaceful place now.

Tanya Parker Mills, via e-mail

 

I learned of Mr. Curtiss’s passing through Al-Hewar. I am very sorry that he is gone. There are not many people in international work that I can say I admire and am comfortable around, and Mr. Curtiss was one of them.

Please know that your father was respected and will be missed. I remember him sharing a joke with Mom at lunch with both the parents. A lovely man, really

Ellen Hunt, VA

 

On behalf of CAIR, I just want to extend our heartfelt condolences to you, your family, and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, staff.

Robert S. McCaw, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

 

I was deeply saddened to learn that Dick has passed away.  What a wonderful and courageous man he was.  I am confident his legacy will endure,

Clyde Farris, via e-mail

 

Dan, your sad news about Dick touched me deeply, since he was my mentor and friend for three memorable years in Beirut (1973-76).  I have always regretted that professional duties and personal tribulations prevented me from staying in touch with him.  My heartfelt condolences to you and the entire Curtiss family. Please keep me posted on memorial plans.

Chris Ross, Washington, DC

 

I think I first met Dick in Beirut in 1975 when I arrived to start at FSI in the memorable class with Beth Jones, Skip Gnehm, Ned Walker, Ted Kattouf and other notables from various parts of the U.S. government, although I have a vague memory of an earlier meeting in Washington.  Perhaps he was back here for some reason.   We have lost a real Titan.  Dan, please convey my condolences to the family.  Along with our colleagues, I would like to receive information about memorial plans.

Bill Cavness, via e-mail

 

We were saddened to learn via Alan Heil of your father in law's passing.  You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

Bill and Pamela Kiehl, via e-mail

 

Please accept my condolences for the loss of your father-in-law.  May his memory be blessed.

Judith Baroody, via e-mail

 

I was so sorry to read that your dad died earlier this month. I'm sure you will miss him sorely. He must have been so proud to have you follow so closely and so ably in his footsteps.

Warm wishes to you.

Helena Cobban, Owner, Just World Books

 

I just wanted to express my heartfelt condolences on the passing of your father, Richard Curtiss. I didn’t know he was your dad, but I also only learned about his passing from the magazine that arrived this week. I am so sorry to hear about it. Your dad was a great man and the magazine that he helped found has a major influence in fighting the good fight for justice and civil rights for Palestinians.

Anyway, if you might be free Friday, I’d love to have you call in to Radio Baladi to talk about your father’s career …

It’s always tough to lose a parent … but the best way to keep them alive is to remember them, talk about them and recall them in conversations and discussions, especially in acknowledging the contributions they made in your personal life and in the lives of so many others, as you father did

Ray Hanania, Radio Baladi

 

Allow me to add my voice to the chorus of condolence that has certainly come your way.

Your father, as you well know, was and is an incredible man.

I have known him since the 1980s and have the highest respect for him.

I supported the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs since the days when it was an 8-page mimeographed sheet.

I am proud to have had lunch with him on a few occasions where the two of us shared our vision for justice and peace in the Middle East.

When George W. Bush was re-elected in 2004, I was so discouraged and disgusted I considered resigning from the Foreign Service.

Your Dad opposed that idea, arguing that I could do more good inside the organization than outside.

Such was my respect for him, I listened to him as a wise elder and did not resign.

I cannot say whether I did much good, but he is one of the few authentic heroes I have ever met and known.

The word “hero” is bandied about casually, but it has an actual meaning and your Dad fits that bill.

Your Dad is not gone. He is working for a just peace from the other side.

Thank you for this opportunity to express my appreciation for him and to honor him.

Blessings from the sacred mountain Shasta,

Lewis Elbinger, Shasta, CA

 

I am saddened by the passing of a good friend Dick Curtiss. (We’re sending condolences to Donna and the family whom we first knew in Baghdad) Dick’s longterm efforts in pursuit of justice for the Palestinians and for a balanced M.E. policy are on the record. I’ve dedicated one of my novels to him and his crew. Now his daughter (and other brave souls) carry on the work of Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

Are we closer to some kind of sane policy? We hope, we pray.

Older than Dick, I remember so many times and shared experiences we had, notably once when we shared an all-day taxi ride from Hodeida, Yemen up through the winding hills and terraced farms to the capital, Sana’a (when their airport was closed—I think in the early 70s). Dick was the true citizen-diplomat, an American who demonstrated his love for all and his determination to make a difference, to stand up for justice. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs will be his marker in history. Regards to all the staff there and congratulations for all the small victories that are slowly waking Americans to the continuing tragedy in Palestine.

Orin D. Parker, CA

 

Oh dear...such a good man. My sympathies to you, to the family and the whole organization.

Marilyn Raschka, via e-mail

 

I just heard the news about Dick. Please pass on my condolences to Delinda, Donna and Andy. I’m so sorry for all of you.

Shawn Twing, former news editor, Barn Door Media, VT

 

Thanks for letting me know—though it took the wind out of my sails. Keep me posted regarding the memorial. My thoughts are with everyone at the office.

Hugh Galford, former book club director, New York

 

Terrible news! Thanks for telling me. My thoughts are with Donna, Delinda and the rest of the family.

Shirl McArthur, Arlington, VA

 

I’m so sorry.

Jim Ennes, USS Liberty Survivor

 

That is very sad to hear. Thank you for letting me know. My condolences to  Donna, Delinda and the rest of the family.

Matt Horton, former book club director, Berkeley, CA

 

Please pass on my sincere condolences to the family of Richard Curtiss.

His visionary founding, with Killgore and Henderson, of the Washington Report  has been a significant contribution to the important awareness-raising of Middle East matters and peace and to the warm understanding of Arab peoples, particularly in countering the systematic rise of Islamaphobia and discrimination against Arabs.

Countless people are indebted to his  vision and journalistic integrity.

In sadness and admiration

Dr Vacy Vlazna, Justice for Palestine Matters, Sydney, Australia

 

Washington Post Legacy.com posts:

March 04, 2013

My father worked with Mr. Curtiss at the foreign service, he and his family were dear friends. Living on a Greek island circa 1968 was an adventure.

Later I found out he was fighting the good fight against our modern day Goliath, putting himself in the fray to battle for justice. I, like many other deeply appreciate what he achieved with the publication of his journal.

Richard Jibrin, Silver Spring, MD

 

February 28, 2013

My condolences to the family and friends of a fine officer and gentleman. While my contacts with Dick were relatively brief, I admired his professionalism, expertise and kind demeanor. He was a most valuable member of the USIA team.

Stanley Silverman, Arlington, VA

 

February 28, 2013

Dick was one of the reasons I chose the Middle East on entering USIA in 1970. As a leader, he set high standards but was also very approachable. A perfect mentor: intelligent, professional, friendly. No one I worked for in the course of 28 years in the Foreign Service struck me as worthier of respect and affection. He represented the best of USIA, in USIA’s best years.

Robert Bemis

 

February 27, 2013

Dick was one of my early USIA mentors and heroes. His Foreign Service was what so many of us joined and worked so hard for over the years. He made our service and our world much better places, and he will be missed by so many. My condolences to the family. May his memory live on to inspire others as he inspired so many of us during his lifetime. Allah yarhamu.

~  Jim Bullock, Tunis, Tunisia

 

February 26, 2013

Condolences to the Curtiss family. Although I did not have the opportunity to work with Richard Curtiss, I learned through colleagues who did of his significant contributions and dedication to U.S. diplomacy.

Debbie Trent, Kensington, MD

 

February 26, 2013

Dick's kindness and generosity of spirit will remain with us always.

Carol Ross

 

February 18, 2013

So very sorry to hear. Our thoughts and prayers are with Drew and Krista and the entire Curtiss family.

Derek, Claudine and Leanne Criner, Herndon, Virginia

 

February 17, 2013

My sincere condolences to you Drew and the Curtiss Family. May God keep you all close in knowing your father's legacy will live on through you and your children.

Erica Herzog, Afghanistan

 

February 15, 2013

Dick Curtiss in his understated way, addressed the Middle East issue with integrity and objectivity without emotional excess. Several of my foreign service contemporaries were fortunate enough to have Richard as a boss and mentor. In his different capacities, he was a role model and inspiration to a generation of public diplomatists who served in the Arab world and Israel.

Peter Kovach, Bethesda, MD

 

February 14, 2013

Condolenses to the family for their loss, while he is gone from the world, his work and impact will live on.

Jansette Anz, Warren, New Jersey

 

February 13, 2013

Deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of this courageous gentleman. As long as The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, exists, and when there is true and just peace in the Middle East, he will be remembered as one who helped it come about.

Tony Litwinko, Glendale, California

 

February 13, 2013

My deepest condolences. It is always painful to lose our best people that have a strong sense of justice with a firm commitment to speak truth to power. I hope Delinda will carry his legacy forward. He is sorely missed.

Antone Sacker, Houston, TX

 

February 13, 2013

There is no nobler life than serving the pursuit of truth and justice. He will be missed.

Jack Robinson, Fort Collins, Colorado

 

February 12, 2013

We will miss you! Thank you for your views and writings!

Patricia Sabbah, Quito, Ecuador

 

February 12, 2013

Richard Curtiss led a life that anyone could be proud of!

 

February 11, 2013

Though I didn’t personally know him, I'd like to say thank you for your tireless efforts in the service of this country. God bless you, and your family. RIP, Sir.

E. Hotaling, New York, NY

 

February 11, 2013

As a Palestinian-American and on behalf of many Palestinians, I offer my condolences to the Curtiss family. We deeply appreciate his work, and we are sorry it was necessary.

What more noble cause than to dedicate oneself to the pursuit of justice and allowing the truth to be known?

Allam Nazzal, Houston, TX

 

February 11, 2013

What is more precious than diamonds is Richard Curtiss's credibility, transparency, and scientific logic to show not only Americans but also non-Americans in addition to humanity and history that good will is eventually going to survive and prevail. May God bless you and I am sad that I have never known about you except from CNI due to lack of communication. I send my deep hearted feelings over the continental distances although I know your spirit and soul are soaring and taking a lodge where the good are awaiting.

Fouad Haidar, Beirut, Lebanon

 

February 11, 2013

My condolences to the Curtiss family,

He will always be remembered as a noble legacy.

Andy Hariche, Toronto, Ontario

 

February 11, 2013

I corresponded with Richard Curtiss on a number of occasions when he was the editor of The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. He published my editorials and reviews in his enlightening publication. He always had had kind and encouraging words to offer to me as a fellow seeker of truth and justice. He was a sincere and dedicated individual who tirelessly worked for justice and humanity throughout the world. He will surely be missed by all of us who have had the pleasure to have known him.

Srinidhi Anantharamiah, Melbourne, FL

 

February 11, 2013

On behalf of the Institute for Palestine Studies family, allow me to extend my heartfelt condolences to the Curtiss family and Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Dick Curtiss has been a fixture, pillar and driving force of the Palestinian scene in Washington for so long that one can hardly imagine the constellation without him. I am personally thankful that he was one of those who extended a mentoring hand to me when I arrived in DC some 20 years ago. He has touched many lives and will be deeply missed. While a star in our universe has dimmed, a new star in the heavens shines brightly...

Michele Esposito, Washington, DC

 

February 11, 2013

May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.

Larry (USS Liberty) Thorn, Nogales, Arizona

 

February 11, 2013

Having followed Dick Curtiss’s and Andy Killgore's efforts from the beginning, I have the greatest respect for anyone who, long after he could have retired, stayed in the fight for justice and the U.S. national interest in the MIddle East.

John Richardson

 

February 11, 2013

What a great void is left by the passing of this wonderful man. Over the past 30 years, he stood as a courageous hero speaking out for justice and truth no matter the consequences. I sought his advice, admired his steadfastness, and was always in awe of his unwavering commitment to educating the American public. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, is his legacy; the best way we can honor this great human being is to support the magazine he founded, ensure that it continues to be a voice of truth for years to come. You are so very dearly missed, dear Dick. May you rest in eternal peace.

Vicki Tamoush, Tustin, California

 

February 11, 2013

He is one person who was truly great and that is not a term I easily toss around. A true and dedicated man who will be sorely missed by all of us

Edmund Tomey, Dorset, VT

 

February 11, 2013

Dear Curtiss Family, and Delinda Hanley: The Bradford Family, Paul and Carol, are so terribly sorry to hear this news. Mr. Curtiss and Killgore are sorely respected, and we shall miss 50% of those two wonderful men (Arabists). Re-Reading Robert D. Kaplan's "Arabists," we are reminded closely of details of those special people who have endeared themselves to the Arab people and done so much for them.

Dear Delinda: Very regretful - we had no idea that you are Mr. Curtiss's daughter.

Many regrets, followed by thoughtful prayers and care for all of you.

Paul & Carol Rae Bradford, Somerville, MA

 

February 10, 2013

With my deepest sympathy, my thoughts are with the Curtiss family. I learned so much from Mr. Curtiss through the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and Stealth PACs. His contributions to move US policy towards justice will live on. Blessings to the Curtiss family. May he rest in peace.

Dahlia Wasfi, M.D., Newark, DE

 

February 10, 2013

A longtime reader of the Report I am so grateful for what he did. May he rest in peace.

Doris Safie, Charlottesville, VA

 

February 10, 2013

You are in our thoughts during this difficult time. We have many happy memories of the Curtiss family from our days together in the Middle East. Our love and sympathy to you all.

Olivia and Gordon Brown, Washington, DC

 

February 10, 2013

For me, Dick was a great mentor and a true hero. His example inspired a great many in the struggle for peace and justice in Palestine.

Les Janka, Riyadh

 

February 09, 2013

My deepest gratitude to a man who told the truth that others avoided. Thank you, Richard Curtiss, for your talent, dedication and integrity... and my profound appreciation to your gracious wife Donna, and to your daughter Delinda, who is carrying on your work with such brilliance. My thoughts are with you.

Alison Weir, California

 

February 09, 2013

Dear Dick,

As one of your great admirers, I was shocked to hear of your departure from this world. Your fight for fairness and your legacy for justice will remain forever. My condolences Donna and Delinda.

Ibrahim Oweiss, Kensington, MD

 

February 09, 2013

Dear Donna,

I mourn the death of this courageous, dedicated man.

Letitia, Princeton, New Jersey

 

February 09, 2013

With Heartfelt condolences....peace and blessings to the Family...

Miriam & Steve Adams, ABQ, NM

 

February 09, 2013

My condolences to the Curtiss family, and to Richard Curtiss' very large, transcontinental extended family. Mr. Curtis was a man of courage and principle. His presence and influence will be greatly missed; but his sterling legacy will live on.Mauri Saalakhan, Silver Spring, Maryland

 

February 09, 2013

With our deepest sympathies, we pray he is at peace and know that his spirit lives on.

A Rahim, San Francisco, CA

 

February 09, 2013

May his soul rest in peace in our final abode . God Bless !!

 Jacques Yammine, Reno, Nevada

 

February 09, 2013

Dear Delinda,

My sincere condolences to you and your family on the death of your remarkable father. His principled life and work stand as an example toward which we can all strive. What a exceptional and noble legacy he has left in his lifelong and exemplary public service!

Elizabeth Murray, Bellingham, Washington

 

February 06, 2013

With heartfelt condolences. No words can truly express what Dick has meant to us. A true friend who will forever be remembered as a kind, gracious human being. With his gentle voice and caring nature, he touched many lives and it has been an honor to have known him. We treasure our memories with Dick, Donna and wonderful family. You are in our hearts and prayers.

Abdel-Rahman, Tita and family

 

February 04, 2013

Our sincerest condolence. We appreciate all the good work Mr. Curtiss did, with his wonderful wife Donna by his side, both overseas and here back at home, in the US.

May he rest in Peace.

Ghassan and Henriette Sabbagh with Family, Reston, VA

 

February 03, 2013

Thinking about you all during this difficult time.

Our sincerest condolence.

Ulla Sabbagh and Family, McLean, VA

 

February 03, 2013

The Abaza family will never forget the kindness and generosity of Richard Curtiss and his lovely wife, Donna. We are deeply saddened by his passing and will cherish the memories we shared with the Curtiss family in Greece and Lebanon!

Ali Abaza

 

February 03, 2013

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs' writers and staff will miss Dick Curtiss' dedication and drive. We know he'd hoped there would be peace and justice for Palestine and Israel before his death. For more information, including memorial service details, please visit our Web site www.wrmea.org

 Delinda Hanley, Washington, District of Columbia

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Grace HalsellRemembering Grace Halsell (1923-2000)

We've thought of Grace Halsell often in the 12 years since she died on Aug. 16, 2000. Her commitment to justice for the Palestinians and her ground-breaking reporting on Christian Zionism remain relevant today. We know you'll find the following collection of articles she wrote for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, over the years informative and thought-provoking.

In Her Own Words and Others'

Israel and Christian Zionists

The U.S. and Israel

Around the World

Personalities

Book Reviews

 

As a special offer, copies of Forcing God’s Hand and the 30th anniversary edition of Halsell’s 1960s classic, Soul Sister: The Story of a White Woman Who Turned Herself Black and Went to Live and Work in Harlem and Mississippi—usually $9.50 each—are available from the AET Book Store for a combined total of $10.

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