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.