Bill Doskoch: Media, BPS*, Film, Minutiae

Curated knowledge, trenchant insights & witty bon mots

Lucky to see another Christmas

This is the first-hand account of Frank Gardner, a BBC reporter gunned down in Saudi Arabia earlier this year by Islamist militants. His cameraman Simon Cumbers was killed.

It's sobering and not very festive, but it reminds you of the tenuous and precious nature of life — and how destructive blind hatred is.

An excerpt:

I was conscious through the whole attack. Although I didn't see Simon running, I remember every single bit. It's absolutely vivid, like a car crash, each second spread out into minutes.

Probably the whole attack took less than ten minutes, maybe even less than five, but I remember every single thing. I looked into the face of the gunman who shot me.

I saw in the faces of the gunmen absolute hatred; they had pressed the button of violence and nothing I tried to say to them in Arabic was going to dissuade them.

As far as they were concerned I was a heathen, a western infidel who had come into their area and this was an opportunity to execute a westerner.

Gardner is in a wheelchair, although there is a chance he will walk again. In January, he will undergo a six-hour operation on his abdomen, which is where most of the bullets struck.

Addendum: See this blog posting for an update: 'Shot BBC reporter returns to work'

Fri, December 24 2004 » Main Page