Generosity Amidst Terror

PidgeSeptember 23, 2013

I have a dear friend who lives and works in Nairobi--I e-mailed him this morning in hopes that he is safe and here is his response:

"Thanks for your concern. I live crosstown from the upscale Westgate Mall. Smoke billows from the structure where attackers and hostages remain. Supposedly mattresses were set aflame. We are two and a half days into the siege and when I awake tomorrow hopefully it will be over. Tremendous response by the Kenyan public to requests for blood donors. The lines are long and others in their generosity bring to the queueing donors food and drink. The country is united. The attack fulfills a promise by Al Shabaab (The Boys, The Youth) to retaliate for Kenyan troops helping to liberate the port town of Kismayu in Somalia.While this goes on Christians in Pakistan mourn their loved ones after the explosions at church. American made drones overhead. It goes on and on with many leaders holding hands at the UN this week.

John"

I guess my friend's safety in Nairobi is not exactly a "hot topic" but I am very moved by the reality of folks coming together in such a crisis. The trouble in Pakistan is not new--my hair-dresser is Pakistani and Catholic, and her father brought the family to the US 20 years ago because of religious persecution. I only that there are Pakistanis as generous as the Kenyans in helping their fellow countrymen.

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epiphyticlvr

I guess my friend's safety in Nairobi is not exactly a "hot topic" but I am very moved by the reality of folks coming together in such a crisis.

Thanks Pidge.

IMO, your friends safety and what is happening in Kenya is a hot topic so thank you for giving us a look at what someone who is there is seeing and feeling.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 4:38PM
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rob333

Actually, I've been thinking about Kenya quite a bit. So many places in upheaval. Wish the world would calm down. I love that he's ok and is even thinking more globally. Right across the street, in his face, but still has generous thoughts of his fellow man. Great example!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 4:41PM
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esh_ga

I never thought I'd see a headline where it said that "Shots ring out as military forces fight to retake the MALL".

Just awful and those innocent people!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 5:13PM
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momj47(7A)

I think that generosity is the rule, rather than the exception. Most people are kind and generous.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 6:36PM
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duluthinbloomz4

I think so too. In the face of tragedy, there's an outpouring in all sorts of ways.

Shame, though, it sometimes takes a tragedy when we have the capacity for caring in many ways in the routines of our daily lives.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 6:46PM
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susanjf_gw

anytime innocent people are killed for simply NOT being a certain race or color, religion, is always a hot topic...how brave of the "bad guys" to always hit a crowded store, business, or public bus....(in any country)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 6:52PM
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Pidge

This is so little next to the big disaster that is Nairobi:
I was vending my jewelry at an outdoor craft show on Saturday on a beautiful, windless day. A burst of wind blew over a tent a few booths away. Instant rescue--folks from everywhere dashed to the rescue, rescued the tent, and the show went on. That's how we roll.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 7:09PM
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labrea_gw

I wanted to post about this yesterday but all I could summon was rage coupled with a fear that I would find some kind of justification for this madness from fellow posters!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 7:13PM
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Pidge

labrea, I don't think anyone could justify this disaster. Why would they even consider it?
My point is that people come to the rescue of those who are hurt no matter the situation but in this case as a source of drawing together as a community.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 7:23PM
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elvis

"how brave of the "bad guys" to always hit a crowded store, business, or public bus....(in any country)"

I don't think they were attempting to demonstrate bravery; I think they were demonstrating their power.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 10:17PM
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lily316(z5PA)

Don't think this couldn't happen here. Supposedly this group has a lot of American recruits from Minnesota of all places. Malls are soft targets, and I could just see how a group would try and create terror in an American mall.

Those poor people were just out for a Saturday shopping trip. So many killed and injured, but the psychological terror is also what the terrorists want.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 3:21AM
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october17(5chgo)

lily: "Don't think this couldn't happen here."

So right. It can happen anywhere, anytime. Terrorism is here (and everywhere) to stay.

Is it true some of these terrorists are from Minnesota where there is a large number of Somali refugees?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 4:33AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Not happen here? What about the Boston bombings? The bombers were practically my neighbors for awhile and could have easily have blown up one of our malls...

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 5:19AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Nah, nobody would dare tangle with Paul Blart.

So what is this Nairobi mess about, what is the point?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 5:25AM
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Pidge

Yes, it can happen here and obviously has. What has also happened is the kind of generous help for others that John describes in his e-mail to me. These actions are literally instinctive in most people. My theory is that it's part of the evolutionary process, the protection of the species so that it can survive and carry on.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 7:16AM
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jodik_gw

The shame of it is, Pidge, that we shouldn't need a disaster as the catalyst that brings us together as a community...

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 7:17AM
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jmc01

And we don't have catalysts to bring us together. Just ask anyone who regularly volunteers for a cause.

You are right, pidge, most people do pull together.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 7:29AM
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chase_gw

i agree. it is in the nature of most to pull together and help each other when help is required. There is much more good amongst us than bad but good doesn't get the same attention.

I am quite concerned that we are going to experience this type of terrorism here at home. There were several Americans involved and at least one Canadian. The news here is reporting that Canadian Somalian youths are traveling back to Somalia for "training" and then returning home.

I am confident the community is a prime target for CSIS and if they need my phone record to help track these home grown terrorists...they are welcome to them.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 8:04AM
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lily316(z5PA)

I do agree Chase. I am so for all the phone and other surveillance they need to find these terrorists. They are welcome to all my information, because if one has nothing to hide, why wouldn't you want this?

Boston was a wake up call on soft targets. They probably aren't going to target planes any longer, because of all the security in place. The Marathon was such an iconic American event it added to the shock value they want. That's part of the psychological terror they want to inflict. How better to accomplish this than by creating havoc in a mall on a normal Saturday shopping trip? Only trouble is, there IS no normal anymore.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 11:52AM
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brass_tacks(8b/GA)

I remember a time when our doors were never locked, windows opened at night, and mom would give a bowl of soup and sandwich to any bum that came asking for something to eat. Us kids stayed in our own neighborhood. We knew when a stranger was on our streets -- and would watch to see where they were headed or why they might be there. Most of all, our parents knew what we were all about, and there was not ignorance about what was right or wrong.
I can imagine that if there had been the threat of terrorists, my dad would have had a gun and we would have all been instructed.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 8:31AM
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jodik_gw

A big reason why we keep dogs and other deterrents... because one never knows these days...

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 8:50AM
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mrskjun(9)

We remember a different world. So terrible that this is the only world our children know. And why?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 9:14AM
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labrea_gw

The myopic present!
I remember the Cuban missile crisis & classmates in fear of the missiles they said would get here in less than an hour, I remember reporters terrorizing us with the new & improved megatonage of these divice 10,20 30 times more powerful than Hiroshima that was terror.
I remeber cousins in Ireland looking at us like some kind of strange creatures when we watched riots going on in the US detached & we just shrugged & said oh that's someplace else.
I remeber that the murder rate in NY was higher than it was last year, I remeber No one called the police while Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death on a street.
I remember Tobacco companies Lied on TV every few minutes & that it took them years to finally be convicted of that!
I remeber watching as President Funeral & then his brothers funeral.
I remeber the disbelief that a US river cautght on fire. I remember photos in the paper of the latest roundup of homosexual patrons from mafia gay bar raids.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 9:51AM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

The myopic present!

Indeed!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 10:11AM
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