Friday, September 24, 2010

Okay, Just One More: Introducing Our Comrade, Lauryn Oates.

I am supposed to have gone all lacunar by now but I see the magazine essay I wrote about Lauryn is on the shelves and online, so what the hell.. It starts like this:

It’s not every life story that swings from being a guest of Uzbekistan’s dictator Islam Karimov to surviving a near-fatal motorcycle accident in northern Uganda to getting tossed into a Syrian prison. Or that has both funny, pedestrian episodes—like losing luggage for the umpteenth time in Dubai—and darker ones: say, taking calls in the middle of the night from BBC reporters in the chaotic aftermath of September 11, and patiently explaining, also for the umpteenth time, the nature of Islamist barbarism in Afghanistan. But then, not everyone is Lauryn Oates, the 28-year-old firefighter’s kid from the North Shore.

You can do the math. When those airliners plunged into the World Trade Center towers and the world suddenly needed people to explain what the Taliban was, she was barely 19. She’d already been an anti-Taliban activist for five years. That’s the thing: the first thing you have to do is get over her youth. . .

You can read it all here.


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