Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Year In Review 2006

No doubt many of you are going back thru old tapes and diaries looking back at the events that shaped our own personal lives in 2006.

The year has been very hard for me personally but at the same time incredible in so many of the events that shaped my life and I hope that you have enjoyed sharing them along with me.

So in a few hundred words lets look back and remember along with a few pictures some of which you might of seen others you may not.

The year started standing in the rain, freezing cold rain outside a hospital in Jerusalem where Israeli Prime Minister Sharon had been rushed too, as I write Sharon remains in a coma almost 12 months later.

It was meant to be an election where the Palestinians would have a chance to celebrate democracy through the ballot box instead of the gun. What followed was a political earthquake that saw Hamas become the legitimate Government of the Palestinians, with a Political charter that includes the destruction of the State of Israel.

By years end Civil war exists on the streets of Gaza, and the world really does not care anymore for the plight of the Palestinians.

I spent 44 days in Gaza up to July. My entries in the Unholylandnews News reflect what happened in those days. The 45th and 46th days I spent in Gaza were for the release of my kidnapped friends, Olaf & Steve.

Since that day of their release in August, no one from Fox News has set foot in Gaza again.

The war between Lebanon & Israel was the most intense event of the year, a month of pure hell and terror. I wrote a lot back then and when I go back and read those entries it brings back memories of great friendships. People often ask do I enjoy covering war and conflict; the honest answer is something that keep close to my own heart.

There was the trip to Nepal where we spent more time flying there and back than we did in Katmandu, a week in Turkey covering the Papal visit without actually even seeing the Pope. The indoor ski field in the desert of Dubai was perhaps the most amazing thing that I saw this year in a bizarre way.

I remember watching the Football world cup in five different languages, none of which I understood a word of. I still laugh when I think of sitting in coffee shops in Gaza drinking non alcoholic beer and cheering along with Hamas Gunmen who would have to rush off to prayers during the halftime. The referee’s whistle would sound and immediately the call to prayer would sound from mosques, and the patrons would duck out, prey and be back in time for the second half.

December saw me back in Iraq for another embed with Ollie North, spending nearly three weeks as Ollie and I like to say looking at tourist and investment opportunities in Ramadi.

It was a Year to Remember for many reasons. “It is better to light a candle, than to curse the darkness”

I just wonder what 07 will bring, perhaps that is why I still like my job after all these years, I wake up every morning never knowing where I will end up going to bed.

Happy Holidays and all the best for 07.


Anonymous said...

Mal..if you only knew what you started, not just in 2006 but way before that. Because of you and certain Fox War Correspondents you changed our lives. Nothing big to anyone but us. We were happy horsebreakers back then on a horse farm in Virgina but the world was changing, and not for the good. Inspired by the above mentioned people, our world became submerged in the world of writers of war, photographers, and GI Joes, a very unusual....herd. Never knowing what is around the next bend..we just keep moving and the opportunities abound..left right repeat. We spent New Years going though stacks (no exageration)of stories and photos from "the rest of the world" and were thankful for each and every one. The bond you speak of is the closest we have ever known, perhaps because of the circumstances. Most we have never met face to face..the closest we got to most of them was phone calls and emails, many, many emails. Kindred spirits you could say. 2006 was the best..although...accompanied by much worry...as these types tend to constantly be in dangerous, nasty, queer places...they all have much in common..and they all keep some cards close to their hearts. Definitely not the types that you can put in your pocket, control and keep safe. But the kind who have a grip on the world, keep that world informed and to a point keep it from total break down. We are thankful for you all. Mr. James, every day is an adventure..good and bad..and we can't wait to see what 2007 has in store for all of us. One thing for sure, we look forward to more writing and photos from you so take care of yourself..okay? And thanks for the inspiration way back then right up to the present. We think you are going to win in that race next weekend...no matter where you finish. Break a leg! or is that theater talk..maybe we should say...don't stub your toe.

Jill said...

All the best to you in the coming year, also. Good luck in all your endeavors!

Widescreen said...

lens up, head down. Good stuff. Take care in 2007.

Jungle Mom said...

Happy New Year, or as we say here. Prospero Ano!

newsjunkie said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us Mal. Here's hoping for an happy, safe, and healthy 2007!

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed your stuff, keep that camera safely rolling Mal my man. Best wishes for you , your family and your crew as you continue.


Anonymous said...

you need a little lie down old bean before you are laid down.maguire

Anonymous said...

there are plenty of dive shops to be had.come home with them all and live another chapter.maguire