"The Day I Was Shot"


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Thin Black Line
April 23, 2006, 08:49 AM
Really good real life article about what happens when you go
into the wrong side of town....or the world....

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2092-2147581,00.html


Three days earlier there had been a bloodthirsty raid by Al-Qaeda fanatics in the eastern Saudi town of Al-Khobar. The terrorists had found a prominent British expatriate, Michael Hamilton, shot him dead, tied his body to their car bumper and dragged it around town in some kind of grisly parade of their power.

Then, masquerading as government security forces, they had marched into a residential complex housing many westerners, Indians and Filipinos who worked in the vast oil industry. Rounding up all those they suspected of being non-Muslims, according to the testimony of survivors, the militants coolly slit the throats of the “non-believers”. By the time order was restored, 22 people had been killed.


Sounds like a perfect time to get a story. :banghead:


After about half an hour we were on the verge of packing up when a car pulled up close to our minivan. I was vaguely aware of some people in the distance, but when a young Saudi got out of the car there was nothing suspicious about him at first.

Like every adult male Saudi, he wore the traditional white thaub, essentially a smart shirt that extends all the way down to the ankles. He looked very young, perhaps still in his teens, and had a kindly face with a hint of a smile, almost as if he knew us or our two Saudi escorts. Was he coming to ask directions? Perhaps he knew the driver and had come to chat.

Looking straight at me, he called out, “Assalaamu aleikum” (“Peace be upon you”). All over the Arab and Islamic world this is the traditional Muslim greeting, a reassurance to a stranger that you wish him no harm.

I replied with the standard response: “Wa aleikum assalaam wa rahmatullah wa barakaatuh” (“And upon you the peace and the mercy of God and His blessings”).

The man paused, a curious look on his face, then with no sign of haste he reached his right hand into what must have been a specially extended pocket sewn into the breast of his thaub. I did not need to see the weapon to know what was coming next. It was like a film with a predictable ending.

“No! Don’t do this!” I shouted instinctively in Arabic.

He pulled out a long-barrelled pistol. Oh my God, I thought, this cannot be happening.


:eek:


In that instant I glimpsed faces driven by pure hatred and fanaticism. I pleaded with them in Arabic, as so many hostages have done in Iraq, while they held a brief discussion as to what to do with me. It did not take long. They responded to my pleas by opening fire once more.

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.


"I was building a house....I don't deserve this...."

"Deserve's got nothing to do with it."


At first no one came; the place was deserted. Then a handful of local Saudi men drifted on to the scene and my heart leapt. With their straggly beards and loosely wrapped headdresses they looked disturbingly like the people who had just shot me. Had they come to finish me off?

Before I had time to think about it they were joined by a dozen more locals. Despite the pain, I felt reassured by the crowd, which was now getting sufficiently large that if anyone was carrying a concealed weapon he was unlikely to pull it out in front of so many witnesses.

And then the strangest thing happened. Nobody helped me. In Muslim society, charity and hospitality are legendary. I have known Egyptians cross four lanes of rush-hour traffic to help with a flat tyre; an Omani minister once gave me his prized walking cane inscribed with his title in silver; Indonesians have slaughtered their sole goat to share with me. And yet here I was, lying in the road, obviously very badly injured, and yet nobody came to help.


Just to be fair, I can imagine people standing around in Detroit or the
affluent suburbs of the beltway around DC. The last time I had an
extremely violent incident happen in a building of 60 people, only myself
and later ONE other person came to aid the victim.

Well, I'm off to Church --have a nice day!

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shermacman
April 23, 2006, 08:58 AM
Wow.
That is quiet a story.
Rarely am I speechless.
Thankfully, Islam is the Religion of Peace. Those [edited to remove a racial slur -- pax] would be really nasty if they weren't Muslim...:eek:

joab
April 23, 2006, 09:27 AM
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.I wish the human shield crowd would read this. I believe it was at least suggested the Nick Berg was a person like the author of the story, I'm pretty sure his father was.

These people hate us and want us dead. There is no chance of redemption through acts of kindness or understanding. We are who we are and they absolutely hate us for that and that alone.

Thin Black Line
April 23, 2006, 06:23 PM
...and that is why a frog should not give a ride to a scorpion.

Biker
April 23, 2006, 06:26 PM
I'm very surprised that they didn't put a couple in his brain pan. Wonder why?
Biker

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