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May 03, 2006

Thoughts While Being Shot in Saudi

I missed this excerpt from BBC correspondent Frank Gardner's new book, describing his experience of being shot and left for dead by Al Queda thugs in Saudi Arabia. Luckily, Gerard Van der Leun was more alert:

EVEN THEN it crossed my mind how unfair this was. I had spent four years studying Islam for my degree, learning Arabic, reading and translating the Koran and other Islamic texts. I had lived happily among Arab families, fasted with Bedu tribespeople in Jordan, taught English to the impoverished family of an Egyptian taxi driver in a verminous Cairo slum.

For the past few years I had tried hard to explain the complexities of the Middle East and the thinking behind the Al-Qaeda phenomenon to western and international audiences. And this was my reward? A bunch of bullets in the guts from men who had convinced themselves they were killing in the cause of Islam. It just did not seem right.

Gardner's book is not yet available in the US, but you can buy it from Amazon UK: Blood and Sand, by Frank Gardner.

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May 3, 2006 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

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