Its worth exploring what made J. Christopher Stevens such a great diplomat:
A northern Californian with a toothy grin, he had a passion for the Arab world and its language, and he went out of his way to use it, whether with officials or shopkeepers, in an effort to show respect.
In his willingness to allow others to be heard, even when he had an important message to impart, Mr. Stevens was an unusual American diplomat, friends and colleagues say. He allowed himself to be governed by the habits, proprieties and slower pace of the Arab world.
As another who knew him observes:
John Bell, an Arabic-speaking former Canadian diplomat, knew Mr. Stevens when they were young political officers together in Syria, and later in Jerusalem. “He was a consummate professional, calm and deliberative, with a real sensitivity to the Arab world,” Mr. Bell said. “He was good on the ground, and he had a way about him that endeared him to a lot of people; he listened to a lot of people and was not highly opinionated. And that made him a good and unusual American diplomat.”
And yet another:
Another friend in Jerusalem, Noga Tarnopolsky, a journalist, remembers Mr. Stevens as “the ideal of what you want when you meet a diplomat; he was a complete anomaly,” she said. “Wherever he was living, he was able to let go of everything else and live that place completely.”