Monday, April 14, 2008

Tefl News: Britons Murdered in Somalia

Four teachers have been murdered after militants raided a school in central Somalia.

Two of the teachers were British passport holders of Somali origin.

The names of the teachers haven't been released. The victims are a 32 year-old woman and a 70 year-old man. The attack took place at Hakab Private English school.

You can read all the sordid, twisted details surrounding the incident here.

Obviously not the best country or region in the world to be a teacher. I have no idea if the fact that they held British passports had anything to do with their murders or if that detail was even known by the attackers.

It was less than six months ago that the case of Gillian Gibbons grabbed international headlines. She was the British woman teaching in nearby Sudan who faced the wrath of extremists outraged that she had allowed her Sudanese students to name a teddy bear Muhammad.

However, having done a fair amount of traveling in my days, I know that events that are reported on by the media have a habit of convincing people that there is mayhem in the streets and nobody is safe. It's usually not as dramatic as breathless reporters would have us believe. Still, the randomness and violence of this attack is disturbing. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who is currently teaching in the area or has done so in the past.

A tragic couple of days for British nationals overseas. Five British women, all of them in their late teens or 20's, were killed in a bus crash in Ecuador yesterday. And now another young British woman has been found dead in Argentina.

I know the cynics amongst us will say that their deaths are no more tragic than the people who have been killed in the same time period under similarly horrible circumstances in their own countries. As I've written about before, there's something about death in a foreign land that increases the sense of loneliness, heartbreak and loss. It no doubt plays into the fear of the unknown that is part of human nature as well.

Condolences to all the families and friends.


Post a Comment