Saturday, March 04, 2006

Tragedy in Samara

Asharq Alawsat relates a gripping account of the loss of one of its journalists in Iraq.

Despite the curfew in the Iraqi capital, colleagues decided to give their dead colleague a proper funeral. She had voluntarily agreed to there, thinking that, the fact that she was originally from Samarra would provide her immunity, contrary to the rest of her colleagues who declined to travel to the central Iraqi city. News coverage operates according to a set of rules whereby no journalist goes to an area/location where his/her life would be in danger. Despite the obvious danger, sometimes/in certain instances, it is difficult to explain the lure/temptation of journalistic work; it is similar to the moths’ attraction to light/fire.

Despite the curfew, family friends and colleagues gathered and decided to walk behind the funeral procession, as a last goodbye in one of Baghdad’s most dangerous neighborhood, Abu Ghraib, to the al Kirkh cemetery, because the departed requested to be buried there. The mourners proceeded slowly along a road that usually does not need more than an hour.

Fate willed that the coverage of the funeral procession would make surreal television. It drew people together around the television screen. They watched as her colleagues cried out for help, in the name of security, defense, Iraqi tribes, religion and Arab values, in the hope the gunfire would not strike at the convoy, as they paid their last respect to the dead. Despite his pleas, the shooting continued and the funeral was transformed into a confrontation between pleas and guns live on air.

More at the link.
Thanks John Burgess for noticing.

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