Death of a journalist – The sorrow of two widows

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On the 14. of January a Norwegian delegation to Afghanistan came to experience the horror of terrorism way to closely. The foreign minister was on a visit, staying in a luxury hotel in Kabul. With him were the usual brigade of people, journalists, advisers and co-workers. The terror attack on the “safest” civil building left the foreign minister shattered, as it took the life of a highly regarded journalist, Carsten Thomassen.

Carsten Thomassen, a father of two beautiful girls aged nine and four. Thomassen was a journalist par excellence. Highly regarded, a master in his craft, well known in all the circles of the government and the ministers. He was always looking for the truth. For the reasons behind the happenings shaking the world. The public grief and the sorrow of ministers, government and media personalities is unprecedented. Carsten Thomassen was gunned down in the lobby of the Serena hotel, his journalist friends did whatever they could to save him. After his death two of his colleagues went to Kabul to bring their friend home, he wasn’t suppose to take that journey by himself. On the airport in Oslo, Thomassen got a honorary reception. With ministers, media moguls and a devastated girlfriend Ellen the mother of his children. Every thing was beautifully executed with great honor and respect. The newspaper with which Thomassen worked, Dagbladet carried all the stories naturally enough extensively in their paper. His collegues paid respect and the website was filled the minute to minute detail.

On 14. of January and terror-attack was carried out at the Serena hotel, taking 7 lives. In addition to Carsten Thomassen six Afghans were killed, one of them was Aziz, a security guard at the hotel. Like Thomassen, Aziz was a man doing his job. On the 25. of January Dagbladet carries a story about his widow Parwin.The story comes the day after Thomassen’s father reminds everyone in his funeral that their was not just one victim of this horrendous attack. Other innocent lives were takes as well, and that we should think about them as well. That is what Thomassen would have wanted.

The story about Parwin is similar to that of Ellen, Thomassen’s girlfriend. Both mother of two children, suddenly finding themselves in utter grief and devastation. Their lives ripped apart in matters of minutes. But the similarities end their. While Thomassen was helped by everyone around him, Aziz was left laying on the ground for an hour. While Ellen and the Norwegian public could follow the drama minute by minute, Parwin couldn’t take her husbands last call on her cell-phone because her telephone card was empty. While Thomassen got a honorable and respectable farewell from everyone in his country, neighborhood, king, ministers and dignitaries, Aziz and his widow just became a statistic. No one has bothered to console Parwin or honor her husband.

Up until Dagbladet yesterday wrote about Parwin, no-one was bothered to think about the other victims. Thanks to Dagbladet for bringing in an important aspect albeit a little late!

Ellen will have to deal with her grief the same way Parwin has to. But Parwin has not only lost her husband and children their father. With Aziz’s death they have lost their sole provider! Parwin doesn’t know how to feed her kids, their future is forever changed for the worst. Ellen wouldn’t have to worry about things such as money, education for her children, security and freedom!!

With the death of Thomassen it has become all to obvious to me that their should not even be one Ellen or one Parwin in the world. Women who lost their men to the cowardly acts of terrorism. The terror in any way, shape or form should  never be tolerated. It is high time for sustainable peace and justice in the troubled region of middle-east and the subcontinent. No-one, wether black or white, rich or poor, muslim or christian is safe until the world is a safer place!!

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