Saturday, June 05, 2004

Making Good on Slain Journalist's Promise

I received this story from Kathleen in New Jersey. The story was reported by The Associated Press. Here's the heart of the story.

While on assignment in Iraq two months ago, photojournalist Shinsuke Hashida was so moved by a boy partially blinded by glass shards during a gunbattle that he made a promise: To return to Iraq and bring the child to Japan for medical treatment.

Hashida went back for the boy, only to be killed in an ambush.

But his promise stands.

On Thursday, 10-year-old Mohamad Haytham Saleh boarded a flight to Tokyo from Amman, Jordan. The Rotary Club in Numazu, the photojournalist's hometown, is sponsoring the boy and his medical care, following through on arrangements Hashida made before he and his nephew Kotaro Ogawa, also a journalist, were killed in an attack south of Baghdad.

"I'm grateful to all the Japanese for helping me," Saleh, smiling shyly, told Japanese reporters before boarding the plane. "I'm really excited."

May the soul of the two journalists fly high above clear blue skies knowing they fulfilled their promise before being killed. Their life was worth living.

Arabic Word of The Post :

life : حياة - / 'Ha-YAt /

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