10 The Ed Cunningham Award 2018

Anand Gopal

Best magazine-style, long-form narrative feature in print or digital on an international story

AWARD DATE: 2018

AWARD NAME: The Ed Cunningham Award 2018

AWARD RECIPIENT: Anand Gopal

AWARD RECIPIENT AFFILIATION: The New Yorker

AWARD HONORED WORK: Syria’s Last Bastion of Freedom

AWARD SPONSOR: Michael S. Serrill

“Tell the story of your village,” the Italian novelist Andrea Camilleri once said. “If you tell it well, you will have told the story of the world.” Anand Gopal is not from the war-torn Syrian village of Saraquib, but he immersed himself in the life and soul of the place during six years of brave and brilliant reporting. The result was a masterpiece. Gopal distilled the scope of the savagery and complexity of the Syrian war into a compelling, coherent narrative. He painted an unforgettable portrait of citizens who clung to their ideals amid death and devastation. Gopal’s elegant writing brought alive characters such as the accountant Osama al-Hossein, who withstood peril and suffering to lead the first election in Saraquib. This tragic yet heroic saga told an important story about a place and its people—and a larger story about humanity at its best and worst.

(No Citation of Excellence for this award given for 2018)