Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tale in Two Cities


There are turmoils occurring around the world starting from the later part of 2010 and it looks like it is going to continue through 2011. On one side there have been natural disasters in New Zealand, Japan and Myanmar and on the other hand there are plenty of manmade disasters going on in many countries around the world.  I would not make any political comment or put forward my personal opinion on any of those conflicts here in my blog.
In this post I share two incidents as narrated by two individuals through their emails. This gives an insight into people’s life that happens to be inside the conflict zones.

Libya - February 22, 2011
“This was a great evacuation from Libya.... its horrible experience by all expats. My passport which was in Libyan immigration, Misrata (300km from Tripoli) which was with protester was destroyed as the immigration office was burnt down. I was asked by my company at last minute to request Indian embassy for a paper. February 22, 2011 is unforgettable day in my life. I have taken high risk to meet Indian ambassador, helped by Libyan taxi driver (having gun in car)...met ambassador and after my humble request she had given me an emergency certificate (a  temporary passport).
Our company arranged a charted flight for all staff and we escaped.  We were evacuated safely to Malta where we had taken rest in hotel and finally from there we got flight home via Cyprus and Dubai.
Thank God... I and my wife with 1 1/2 yr kid kissed the freedom.
But many Indians are still waiting for their safe evacuation, please pray for them...”

Bahrain - March 16, 2011
“We woke up to sounds of gunfire (most likely rubber bullets and tear gas shells) just before 7:00 am. Within no time cars were speeding across on both sides of the street in front of our house. The more practical ones fleeing the action while the foolhardy (or the brave heart, depending on which side of the fence you are) and emergency vehicles, going towards the action.
 It started to get difficult to breathe inside the house with the acrid smell of tear gas filling the house. Firing continued unabated. Soon the entire Pearl roundabout was shrouded in thick black smoke. After that the earth shaking noise of the propane tank bursting. The crowd slowly started disappearing from the road in front of our house. A few pickups and four wheel drives with their rear doors open sped across with the wounded. Then there was the eerie calm on the street but the gunfire continued in the background.
 At about 8:30 am there was a rumbling sound of heavy vehicles and slowly 3 armored personnel carriers came into view from my kitchen window, followed by foot soldiers and riot police. They were accompanied by 6 Land cruisers with turret mounted machine guns. They asked everyone to get away from the windows and balconies. To emphasize their point they started firing shots in the air. 
The security forces have now started moving into the dens. The “cleansing” operation is likely to continue. Hope some sort of normalcy returns in the next two days. I am waiting to take off for as soon as possible.”



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