For the last two days, both the husband and I have been extremely stressed out, worried about the fate of our dear fiend Jill. We are still very hopeful that she will make it, primarily because she speaks Arabic and has been in the region for more than three years. Maybe her understanding and love for Arab culture will be a key to her getting out of this horrible ordeal.
She is the sweetest, most caring, most honest person you could ever meet. What kind of a person would want to hurt Jill? Will the kidnappers have any mercy left in them for her? We are hoping and constantly praying that they will. As this story has developed, so have the reactions from the blogosphere. Here are a few thoughts from those that knew her personally. This from Baghdad Treasure:
She was in love, but not with a man. She was in love with Iraq and its people. She always felt that she belongs to this country. It was obvious in her eyes. once, I had hamburger for lunch. "What is this?" she said sarcastically. "You leave all this delicious Iraqi food and eat a Hamburger?" she used to come to the office when she has time and we spend great time altogether. I wonder what she is doing now. It’s cold. Is she covered well? She was kidnapped wearing her light black abaya. She used to call it a "bullet-proof abaya" but it seems she was mistaken. I am afraid that she might die out of the shock seeing her translator, the friend, killed in front of her.
On the blog 24 Steps to Liberty a fellow reporter in Baghdad relates:
She loved this country and its people. She sympathized with its sufferings and committed to tell the truth. When I talked to her about how the Iraqis live, she always cried. She cried for the sufferings of Iraq more than Iraqis. She has the nicest heart in this world. When I blamed Iraqis for what is happening in the country, she said "don’t blames the Iraqis. You should blame the governments for what they do." I remember once we were chatting and I asked her, "so where is home for you?" And without hesitation or a moment to think, she said "This is home. Iraq. Why? What’s wrong with that?" and as the chat goes on, at some point she smiled and said "I know my fate is in Iraq."
NBC News Correspondent Richard Engel highlighted the story on the MSNBC blog, pointing out how:
The small community of reporters in Baghdad (shrinking by the month) has pulled together around the kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll in a way I have not seen here before. It could be because she’s friendly, always smiling, or because we respect her ambition – young and gutsy…but I think it’s mainly because she was alone and vulnerable.
The picture included here is one I took of her nearly three years ago at a restaurant in Amman. There is nothing that we can directly do to save her and it is driving Jeff and I crazy. We just have to keep hoping and praying. From my part, on this blog, Jill’s ordeal will be given top priority. Her story will never be buried. I’m going to start a countdown of the number of days she has been in captivity. So far she has been kidnapped for five days! For those interested in her reporting, here are a few links to two National Public Radio stories with Jill in Real and Windows Media formats. Please God, bring her home safely.