Ayyoub honed his journalistic skills in Kerala, Bangalore

BANGALORE April 9. Tareq Ayyoub, correspondent of the Qatar-based satellite television channel, Al-Jazeera, killed under fire from the United States troops in Baghdad on Tuesday, was a student of journalism in Bangalore's Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan during 1992-93. For Tareq's classmates, his picture flashed across newspapers rekindled memories of a deeply committed student who was passionate about the Palestinian cause.

Tareq was a Jordanian. But his heart lay in Palestine. As his classmates recalled, Tareq often talked about the sufferings of the Palestinian people. He dwelt passionately on how he would strive to use the pen as a mighty tool to help their struggle.

Little was known of Tareq after he left India for West Asia, his home turf. For at least three years, he was here, completing his post-graduation (Master of Communication and Journalism) from the Calicut University and thereafter, the post-graduate diploma in Journalism from the Bhavan.

The Bhavan's office did not have his records. But the staff could vaguely remember him. Raju, the librarian, recalled him as a smart and active student. The office received several calls from Kerala from Tareq's classmates in the Calicut University Journalism Department. Tareq had been active in Bhavan, participating and winning quiz contests and more.

Tareq was killed when Al-Jazeera's Baghdad office was hit during fighting between the coalition forces and Iraqis. Tareq was a reporter and a producer for the channel.