Monday, February 4

"The Girl Who Tried to Save the World"


What an great story about a girl who saved the world in her special way. 

She is an extreme example of what I call as people who refuse to work to society's usual somnolent standards. Most folks are vegetables son, only concerned with their immediate family and friends. That's all. Which is ok. Each have their own views and rights to do what they want out of their lives. 

But every now and then, a great soul like this come along and blows you away (no pun intended). They have maniacal energy. They do not respect boundaries. They achieve huge things. 

Very impressive son. Dream big things and never let anybody say no. Make it happen. 




The life and death of Marla Ruzicka, a young aid worker in Baghdad.

The Girl Who Tried to Save the World
The life and death of Marla Ruzicka, a young aid worker in Baghdad.
Janet Reitman | Rolling Stone | Jun 2005

On the afternoon of Saturday, April 16th, Marla Ruzicka sat in her unarmored Mercedes, talking on the phone with her friend Colin McMahon, a reporter in the Baghdad bureau of the Chicago Tribune. She’d had a “great” round of meetings in the Green Zone, she told McMahon, and was just leaving the fortified compound in the hopes of squeezing in one last meeting before the end of the day. The Green Zone, which sits on the west bank of the Tigris River, used to be the heart of Saddam’s empire, and now houses the U.S. Embassy, the Iraqi Parliament and other offices of the new Iraqi government. Outside of the Green Zone, in Baghdad itself, the security situation changes hourly. A route that was safe at noon could be unsafe at 1 p.m. A neighborhood that was peaceful at dawn could be in flames by lunchtime.

A petite, blond, twenty-eight-year-old humanitarian-aid worker from Northern California, Ruzicka knew the volatility of Baghdad as well as anyone. She was virtually the only American aid worker in the Iraqi capital. She was the founder of a small nongovernmental organization called CIVIC — the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict — which assisted families whose lives had been ripped apart in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Passionate and driven, Ruzicka worked seven days a week, eighteen hours a day, driving around the city with her Iraqi colleague Faiz Ali Salim. The two spent most of their days compiling data on the number of civilian casualties in Iraq, which Ruzicka then used to lobby American officials to compensate the victims’ families, often arranging for wounded children to be evacuated in order to receive medical treatment in the United States. It was revolutionary work — virtually no other aid group or worker has negotiated with the U.S. government on behalf of civilians injured in American military actions — but it was exhausting. Ruzicka, who had begun to demonstrate some of the classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, was preparing to leave Baghdad the next day for a vacation in Thailand and then a long rest back in the United States. Leaving was difficult. “This place continues to break my heart,” she wrote to a friend in London earlier in the month. “Need to get out of here — but hard!”

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