Sunday, February 12, 2012

Finished reading "A Mighty Heart"

I had started on this book almost a year ago and then kept it aside as it depressed me big time. The author is the widow of the unfortunate Wall Street Journal's Daniel Pearl who was beheaded by terrorists in Pakistan. Mariane Pearl has given a very compelling and heart-wrenching account on the kidnapping of her husband and the torturous weeks that followed culminating in the death of Daniel Pearl.

Here are a few snippets

.... It is pitch black outside. There are still several hours before the muezzin's call, marking the end of the night. I would give everything I have to be with Danny at this moment, wherever he might be. I know he is not free to move as he pleases. Why didn't I pay closer attention to the nature of his rendezvous? Why wasn't I more vigilant? Why didn't I go with him? I wasn't feeling that sick. Why..... Stop, I tell myself. Stop this chain of thought. Regrets will just waste energy - don't question reality .....Again and again the doorbell rings, and yet another strange man steps into the house. How many can one house hold? Jameel's men greet their compatriots with a salute. The new arrivals, most dressed in Western style civilian clothese, wander from room to room as if the key to Danny's disappearance has somehow escaped the others. In the kitchen, they take note of the remains of last night's dinner, in the living room, they slyly open drawers and rifle through papers stacked by the phone. Why aren't they out combing Karachi for Danny? I observe the entire scene in disbelief. ......

....I flash back to New Year's Eve in Beirut four years ago. Danny and I spent a wonderful night with Lebanese friends, eating, dancing, laughing and the next day one of those friends took us to a bar, where we started discussing politics. When he discovered that Danny was Jewish and that my father had been too, our friend was dumbfounded. He'd never imagined that a Jewish person could be someone like Danny. For the rest of the evening he merely stared at Danny in disbelief. He was out with a Jew, and he had things in common with him, and he liked him. At the end of the evening he told us that he understood he'd been taught to reject a people he knew nothing about. It was simple and as hideously complicated as that.

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