Rory Stewart

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Rory Stewart in March 2008.

Rory Stewart, OBE (born 1973), is a Scottish author and academic. Formerly a British soldier and diplomat, he is currently Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and Ryan Family Professor of the Practice of Human Rights at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Stewart, whose family hail from Crieff in Perthshire, was born in Hong Kong, raised in Malaysia, and Scotland, and educated at the Dragon School, Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied modern history, philosophy and politics. While a student at Oxford, he was a summer tutor to Prince William and Prince Harry in the early 1990s.

After less than a year as an officer in the British Army (the Black Watch), Stewart joined the Foreign Office. He served in the British Embassy in Indonesia from 1997 to 1999, as the British Representative to Montenegro in the wake of the Kosovo campaign and as Coalition Deputy Governor of Maysan and Senior Advisor in Dhi Qar, two provinces in southern Iraq during 2003–2004. For these services, he was eventually awarded an OBE. From 2004, he was a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. He has traveled extensively, most prominently throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. From 2000 to 2002 he walked across Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, India and Nepal, a journey of 6000 miles (done in two stages because of problems with the Taliban but without leaving Asia).[1]

His first book, The Places in Between (2004), was a critically lauded account of his experiences in Afghanistan, and a New York Times bestseller. It won the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, a Scottish Arts Council prize and the Spirit of Scotland award in 2005, was short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was named one of the New York Times' 10 notable books in 2006. The book was adapted into a radio play by Benjamin Yeoh and was broadcast in 2007 on BBC Radio 4.

His second book, The Prince of the Marshes: And Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq (2006), outlines his experiences as deputy governorate co-ordinator [2] of the Iraqi province of Maysan and Senior Advisor in the province of Dhi Qar shortly after coalition forces entered Iraq and describes his efforts to establish a functional government in these regions. It was particularly well-reviewed in the UK and was short-listed for a number of major awards.

Until 2009, when he took up his position at Harvard, Stewart resided in Kabul, where he fulfilled his duties as Chief Executive of The Turquoise Mountain Foundation. Turquoise Mountain is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation whose mission it is to regenerate Afghanistan's traditional crafts and historic areas, creating jobs, skills, and a renewed sense of national identity.

Turquoise Mountain is working to regenerate Murad Khane, a district of Kabul’s old city. It has also established an Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture in Kabul, which provides education for both men and women in traditional artisan skills, such as woodwork, calligraphy, ceramics and jewellery. In addition, it has a business development program which is working to revive Afghanistan’s traditional craft economy. Turquoise Mountain has received financial support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), The Prince's Charities Foundation and a number of other private foundations and individuals, from the Middle East, Europe, the United States, and Canada.

Much of Stewart's journalism, which has appeared in major newspapers and magazines such as the New York Times and Time as well as the London and New York Review of Books, has cautioned against over-ambitious foreign interventions, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In July 2008 he was appointed Ryan Professor of Human Rights at Harvard University and the Director of the Kennedy School's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Having acceded to the position on January 1st, 2009, he combines the role with his charitable work in Afghanistan.

He has some acquaintance with French, Persian, Indonesian, Serbo-Croat, Dari, Arabic, Urdu and Nepali.

He also plays bass in progressive math-rock/metal band, Salty The Pocketknife


[edit] Miscellaneous

- On 25 January 2008 Stewart was the guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, and chose the dubplate Gunman as one of his selected discs.

- In August 2008, the UK media widely reported that Studio Canal and Brad Pitt's production company Plan B had bought the rights to a biopic of Stewart's life. The actor Orlando Bloom will apparently play Stewart. [3]

[edit] Notes

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  3. ^,1283,orlando-bloom-to-make-a-star-of-rory,40629

[edit] Books

[edit] External links





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