By Goran Tomasevic
Why did I go to Iraq? Because it was a big story.
I was there in 2002 for the presidential referendum where Saddam was the only candidate.
I knew there would be a war. I’d begun my post in Jerusalem but I didn’t go there – instead I went to Iraq. As a Serbian national I didn’t need a visa to enter Iraq. I also had experience covering Kosovo and the Balkan war. I arrived at the end of January 2003, and spent three months there.
This was my first big conflict after covering the former Yugoslavia. For me, it was very important to prove myself on the international stage.
It was the day after the Americans fired on our office and killed Taras Protsyuk, who was a good friend of mine, injured Gulf bureau chief, Samia Nakhoul, along with other colleagues. (Watch Reuters Bearing Witness to learn more)
I woke up around 6am and started driving around. Americans had captured most of the city already. I went to see Samia in the hospital and then came back to our hotel, which was surrounded by Americans, to file some pictures. I was really out of myself after what had happened to Taras.