Lofty Student in Mini London

August 5, 2004 

My new EMS® lightweight zip pants are working out well. In the left front outer pocket I keep my London tube card, left front inner a folded to-do list, right front outer school ID card that gets me through the gate. Pens, change, notebook and index cards are in separate sections of a messenger bag on my shoulder. All I need is a big slide rule for my shirt pocket.

So far one student has already dropped out of Arabic. The instructor gave out an exercise which was beyond our level and it clearly made her uncomfortable. This is day four of eight-hour days of a new language, which takes stamina. I read like a child with my finger or pen pointing at each letter, sounding it out. Today I expect we'll finish the alphabet, 28 letters that change their shape according to their position in a word, or sometimes depending on how much space the writer has. There's a lot of uncertainty in Arabic, or you could say a lot of flexibility.

There are five students around a wooden table — four women and me. The women are academics or graduate students. One teacher is from Syria, the other from Egypt. The Syrian begins promptly at 10 am, even if students are late, which three are each morning.

A few London observations: things are small — sinks are small, refrigerators are small, the subway, known as the tube, is small. It's like a toy subway. If I don't stand in the dead center I have to duck. The British use coins more than Americans, so you end up carrying a lot of change. Finally, Londoners do not walk as aggressively as New Yorkers. In New York I am routinely cut off by oncoming pedestrians crossing my path, often making me pause in stride. On the tube yesterday a young man in a suit was barreling around an underground bend on the Picadilly line. Unfortunately he was looking directly backwards over his shoulder. Since there was no time to move I brought my left arm in, lowered my shoulder and smashed into him, then proceeded without a word or looking back. There was no counterattack.

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E-mail Steve your questions.


I just read your article.  It has been a while since I have read something so moving.  I am at a loss as to what to write, which, for me, is usually not possible.  You have my utmost respect.  Our guys in the military ( and females!) continue to have my thoughts and prayers. 
Thank you,
Richelle (Lafayette, LA)
Keep the stories coming; we the people need to hear it first hand, and it takes true courage for someone like yourself to sit there, deal with it, and keep doing your job.
Semper Fidelis,

Sgt Thomas


I just wanted to say thank you for all of the reporting you have done since the war in Iraq began.  I have watched you through some rough spots and wonder how you keep going. Please tell the soldiers that you come across, that we haven't forgot them here at home, and we support them all the way. We'll be praying for you, and your crew also.


Amie (Clearwater, FL)

Thank you, Steve for just doing your job next to all those soldiers who are also just doing the jobs, being heroes.  

Amy (Lake Geneva, WI)


Your reports are often breathtaking to watch and your blogs are always thrilling to read. Keep up the great work.


I think you are doing a great job and as a member of the military I understand and appreciate the risks you are taking to get the truth out to the world.

Keep up the good work and keep your head down!

266th RANS
Idaho Air National Guard

Hey Steve,

Your Rwanda story just made me cry. That's a good thing. There's a lot of good in this world. The contrast, for you, must be astounding. Thank you for your work - and for your sacrifices. God bless (and keep your head down)

Jim (Alexandria, VA)


I feel like I've been every step of this war with you - thank you for your reporting. Just want to tell you to stay safe, and know that you are appreciated!

Kay (Brownwood, TX)

Dear Steve,

I'm on my way right now to catch up on anything I've missed that you've posted on the Fox News website, keep up the good work and take care of yourself, the world would be a much less informed place without you! Thank you again and God Bless America,

Gary (Bigfork, MT)

Dear Steve,

Just read your first installment on "The Worst Thing."  Steve, your story is breaking my heart!   We switched to watching FOX News exclusively for about a year and a half now, followed you since last year in Kuwait and then Iraq and watched you take more and more incredible (and --I say this in love--stupid?) chances.  The personal risks you take to get the story are--well,  I worry about you, man!  We love you.  Please be careful!! 


The VanB's


Steve Harrigan currently serves as a Miami-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 2001 as a Moscow-based correspondent.