Sunday, March 31, 2013

Beaches to bombs

by Rose Killalea

It was surreal flying into Islamabad on the night of the 21st September 2012. As I traversed the world from Paris to Abu Dhabi to Islamabad, all the news was of Pakistan; ablaze with protests, demonstrators, bombs, gunshots, and killings and following the release of the infamous Youtube video denigrating Islam and the prophet Muhammad.

At every airport I thought an email would recall me, but no, and I arrived at 2.30 am, with no local money, nor an address to go to, only an assurance that someone would meet me. A little anxious, but I decided there was nothing to do but carry on, and stay calm! As it happened, within an hour I was in an unmarked car with a Pakistani man who showed me no identification, driving down the road in the early hours of the morning. I thought "well if this is a kidnapping, here goes nothing".