March 30, 2005
The Unique Life of Mariane Pearl
She ended her lecture tonight with these words by Diane Ackerman:

…I swear I will not dishonor my soul

with hatred,

but offer myself humbly as a guardian

of nature, as a healer of misery,

as a messenger of wonder,

as an architect of peace…

Amazing from a woman who has seen the first-hand results of terrorism and hatred.

Mariane Pearl gave a fantastic lecture tonight as she spoke of her life and how it has changed since her husband and best friend, Daniel was murdered by Al-Qaeda cooperatives. Can you imagine being 6 1/2 months pregnant in a foreign country, when your husband goes out for a meeting and is kidnapped? Not only that, but that his actual murder is played over and over again on video, available widely on the internet.

Private pain and grief is a luxury. This was something she learned quickly. Her heart and soul was put on display for all to see.

I took away her statement that we must work not to put labels on people and to see beneath the politics to the human story. For her situation, she was born in Paris of Cuban parents, and a practicing Buddhist. Daniel, her soulmate, was born in the US but his mother was born in Iraq and raised in Israel. Of course, a well known fact that he was also Jewish. A very multicultural union in their meeting and their son is a product of all that we should strive to become. No boundaries, just a mix of all cultures and creeds. A human being. Daniel wanted him to be called 'Adam', to be a testament to what the people of the 21st century should be. A citizen of the world.

Mariane was a delightful speaker, with a beautiful French accent that one could listen to for hours. She spoke lovingly of the man that was torn from her life so abrupty and violently, and how that she honours his life by sharing his story. It was obvious she was not entirely comfortable in front of an audience, but at the same time, that endeared me even more. She was just like everyone else, but she had a story to tell.

She answered many questions from the audience. I wish now that I had brought a notebook to take down notes of what she said. Much of it very profound. She is raising her son in New York, and is disillusioned with the politics of mainstream media. Her wish would be that the media and journalists spent more time on the human side of things, rather than the political agenda. Many questions still remain regarding her husband's murder. Some things may never truly become clear.

Once again, a fantastic lecture in the Unique Lives and Experiences series. Next up is Whoopi Goldberg on April 7.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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