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Our man in Provence

-Jennifer Hay

Robert Arnoux (Click to view larger version...)
Robert Arnoux
You may wonder who is the author of the entertaining articles on local matters in Newsline. Robert Arnoux works part-time in the Communication team and knows this area well. Born in Château-Arnoux, a small village some 30 minutes drive north of Cadarache, he went to school in Sisteron, where in his last year he was awarded an American Field Service scholarship that enabled him to spend a year in Westchester County, New York, that not only "opened up his mind" to a very different culture from France in the early 70s, but was also the basis of his excellent English. After this he went to live on a tiny kibbutz in Israel on the Syrian/Jordanian border, which he recalls as an intense experience. Having discovered one aspect of Middle East reality, he then discovered the Arab world and back in France he studied Arabic. He then decided to become a journalist to carry on exploring the world and studied at the Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme in Paris. Narrowly missing out on starting his journalistic career in Israel (the paper went bankrupt!) Robert started work on the provincial newspaper that was the earlier version of today's "La Provence", first in the bureaux in Aix and Arles and then as a staff writer covering stories such as the war in Lebanon, American presidential elections or the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Interviewing the Dalai Lama — to whom he gave his personal copy of "Tintin in Tibet" — was a particularly special event for him. He developed a passion for Armenia when covering the earthquake there in 1988, which he has maintained along with his passion for explaining things — including scientific subjects, favourites being fusion and astronomy — in a comprehensible way. He has been writing stories on Cadarache topics for over 25 years now, with his first article on fusion being published in the mid 80s. He co-authored a book on ITER in French with fusion scientist Jean Jacquinot "ITER, le chemin des étoiles?" But as he says, he loves writing in English and Newsline gives him a chance to do just that.


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