Wednesday, July 04, 2007
A brave man
I woke up very early this morning and switched on BBC News 24, to be greeted by the information that the Corporation's abducted Gaza reporter, Alan Johnston, had been freed after 114 days in captivity. He had apparently spent this time in solitary confinement, unsure if he was going to be harmed. His spirits were raised by the realisation, through hearing BBC World service radio broadcasts, that he had not been forgotten, that people all over the world were demonstrating, campaigning and working for his freedom.
What was absolutely amazing was the composure he showed on his release, making live phone calls back to the BBC studio and speaking at televised press conferences. He had been through a terrible ordeal, yet seemed to have kept himself together remarkably well. I have always thought that to be a journalist one needs to be both brave and thick-skinned. To be a journalist in a place of conflict requires both in abundance. Alan Johnston today showed remarkable courage both as a man and a consummate professional.
Three notable things:
1. A squirrel running along the garden fence.
2. The jewel coloured floral sari worn by a friend.
3. The welcome release of Alan Johnston.