Oh God, not Jill!!

Jill CarrollOh my God. I’m in utter and complete shock. My hands are trembling as I’m writing this. My very good friend Jill Carroll has been kidnapped while on assignment in Iraq for The Christian Science Monitor!!

She is one of the kindest, most sincere, honest people I have ever met. She is a very motivated journalist who always went out of her way to seek the truth. I’m speechless. My words escape me at this moment. The knot in my stomach is more than I can bear. I pray to God to protect her and bring home safely. She really doesn’t deserve this. She has been working hard for years to report the true side of the story.

I met Jill while working at The Jordan Times three years ago. She has become a dear friend since then. She attended my wedding and was even a supervising usher working hard to make our big day a success. Please, God, return her home safely!

Update 1: According to the Associated Press, the Iraqi police are currently looking for Jill. AP also ran a profile of Jill here.

Update 2: This Iraq-based reporter and blogger is a friend of Jill’s there and has written an emotional post about her. Another blogger who knows her personally is also traumatized by her capture. The Washington Post has also run a story on Jill’s abduction and put Jill on the front page.

Update 3: Jeff and I gathered together links to some of the articles that Jill wrote while working in Iraq, four from CSM and one from American Journalism Review that’s quite revealing. We were so proud to see her byline, we tried to never miss highlighting her stories there:

58 thoughts on “Oh God, not Jill!!”

  1. Sorry to hear that , i dont know her peronsaly but the only newspaper i read is the christian science monitor so i am sure i have read many of her article.

  2. So sorry to hear such bad news Natasha , is their anything we can do ,online petition, open letters , amnesty international ? Pls. let us know… Its only been 2 days… they have to voice their demands now… Allah ma3kon.

  3. Jill Carroll, an American journalist kidnapped in Iraq

    Boing Boing reader Jeff says, I don’t know if this fits Boing Boing that neatly, but Jill Carroll was abducted in Iraq while working as a journalist for the Christian Science Monitor. She is my dear friend and I don’t want her name to fall off the rada…

  4. Jill Carroll, American journo and pal of BB readers, kidnapped in Iraq

    Boing Boing reader Jeff says, I don’t know if this fits Boing Boing that neatly, but Jill Carroll was abducted in Iraq while working as a journalist for the Christian Science Monitor. She is my dear friend and I don’t want her name to fall off the rada…

  5. Lamoos, let’s do each and every one of those things. I don’t want to see her name fall from the media. We are going to work every channel we have to get her back. Damn it, damn it, damn it! Jill, I worried for so long. Your luck just ran out my sister. Stay strong. We are praying so very hard for your safe return. We will do anything we can to see you home. I wish I could be more productive, but all I feel is anger.

  6. very sorry to hear that. i hope she gets out of this safe and sound. i wonder what the demands will be…is she american?

  7. Oh my God, I’ve met Jill several times she’s such a sweet and kind person,I hope she’ll be freed soon & returns home safely.

  8. This is so unbelievably awful, and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. Jill and I were high school friends on the swimming and water polo teams together, and I haven’t heard much from her after graduation apart from knowing that she went on to study journalism at UMass. She’s such a smart, dedicated and kind person — this is the last way I wanted to get re-connected with a long lost friend. If the kidnappers have any decency they’ll let her go right away. Jill, my thoughts are with you.

  9. Natasha, I’m very sorry to hear about this.
    My heart goes out to the families and friends of the deceased translator (Allan Enwiyah) and the kidnapped journalist (Jill Carroll).

  10. Sorry to hear this about your dear friend – it really makes no sense and will not help move the kidnappers’ agenda forward at all.

  11. I love the hypocrisy. This is what Israel deals with every day, savage animals that only know death and destruction. Everyone is pro-Palestinian because they only kill Jews, but when the gun is turned around and starts destroying English buses or abducting Christian innocents, then suddenly everyone has a bleeding heart. If a child in at a pizza place in Israel gets blown to bits no one cares because its Israel’s fault. But when your journalist gets taken Im supposed to care? The fact that Al-Queda needed to blow up your hotels in order for your country to finally admit that they are terrorists says it all. Be careful which terrorists you support, because its only a matter of time before they make the same argument against you and go after your family.
    Golda said it best when she said “we’ll have peace with the Arabs the day they love their children more then they hate us.”
    I wish her a safe return, but remember, the next time you crave the Palestinian view on the world, I want you to crave the view of those that abducted Jill as well. Their arguments are just as valid. Be careful who you stick up for, because ultimately they run out of enemies, and then youre next.

  12. Jill Carroll is now “slave status” per the Quran. She is spoils of war aka:booty. Muslims can’t and won’t deny this fact.

  13. Natasha, I am very sorry to hear about your friend. I will be praying for safety and strength for her and her family at this difficult time.
    P.s Carmen, I did not want to dignify your comment by an answer. However, I must say that you should have kept your mouth shut at this time. Apparentely, you do not care about this journalist as much as you care about your own people. However, you want us all to care about your cause and your people than own people. May be you should practise what you preach.

  14. Carmen, what are you smoking? Who do you think you are to come here and presume to know what Natasha or I think about the issues you espouse. You think that it took a bomb in Amman before we thought al Qaeda was whack? Get a grip. You make that presumption just because Natasha is Jordanian, just because she is Arab? Why is it that you assume she supports all these things? Blindness? Stupidity?!? Look around this blog, see who befriends Natasha and who Natasha befriends. Know that she is not your stereotype.
    Worse, this has nothing to do with what you pop off about. Jill came to Jordan and worked as a reporter for dirt, scraping by paying her rent. She wanted to get to know the culture and understand the people. She went to Iraq to tell a real, true story. It scared the hell out of us but she was determined, no matter the risk. She didn’t do it for money or for glory — because neither was promised nor given — but for this slowly dwindling journalistic ideal of telling an important story, of helping us to understand one another — without stereotype or hyperbole. Thank you Carmen, but we don’t need your caveats; take your sorries elsewhere.

  15. Natasha and Jeff, so sorry to hear this news about your friend. I hope and pray she is released safely.

  16. lets hope this desperate and senseless act is righted by her immediate safe return.
    but realize – THIS is the face of militant Islam, not the consequences of fighting it. these people are not “freedom fighters” as Michael Moore and Cindy wacko Sheehan have stated, they are vicious subhuman murderers waging a war on decent people trying to spread information and equality.

  17. Natasha and Jeff, I am so sorry that someone so dear to you has been kidnapped. It is horrible every time, but when you have shared life with them (as other commenters here have)you are really with them in it.
    I will join you in praying for Jill’s safety, protection and return.

  18. I hate to say this, but often, when it is someone who is working to really get the truth out… I wonder, did my own government(or some unknown part of it) have a hand in this? I am from the USA.

  19. Luai’s link takes you to an Ann Arbor paper that has a tiny bit of a local angle on things. But they are kind of rehashing this thing picked up by the Associated Press from CSM that suggests Jill was an “aggressive” reporter. I’m growing tired of seeing this. It suggests she was reckless. She was not. As I mentioned in comments following the AP story that began this misrepresentation, Jill was anything but “aggressive.” She was focused and determined with a goal she was bound and determined to realize. She was finding a higher purpose.

  20. Natasha, as everyone else, I wish for your friend’s safe return. I am so sorry.
    Carmen, as someone else said above, you need to think before you speak (write). Your comment has no relevance nor does it relate at all to Natasha’s views and/or take on politics. It discredits you to just be looking for an opportunity to go off on your own rhetoric like this, instead of showing compassion for a fellow human being.

  21. To everyone posting concerns for Jill, Thank you so much. I know her very well and I am so scared right now.
    We need to keep her in the media. Please, if you are a journalist, write about it. We can’t forget to think about her in a positive light every day. We can’t let her story fade as another day passes.
    I am saddened to hear of Alan’s death. I pray his family will get through this.

  22. Natasha,sorry to hear your friend was kidnapped.I will be praying for her safe return.I guess the conflict in Iraq doesn’t really hit home til you’re personally impacted by it like this.To be honest,I had not heard anything about it on the news,or perhaps I did but wasn’t paying attention.Hate to say it,but hearing about car bombs and kidnappings on a constant basis tends to desensitize us to a certain extent.
    Journalists should definitely not be looked upon as the enemy in a war zone,but apparently the Islamic zealots feel exempt from all rules of civil behavior.
    Carmen,your diatribe was ill-timed,and any possibly valid points have been completely overshadowed by your insensitivity.
    Sandmonkey,thanks for your honest opinion.I couldn’t agree more.
    G.Mayer…let’s not consider blaming the U.S. government for this,as conspiracy THEORIES are just that…

  23. As friends of Jill, I hope you can answer a little question that will set my mind to ease.
    I grew up with a Jill Carroll in Derry, NH — she would be 28, and would probably have graduated on time from college in 1999. She lived around the corner from me growing up. I never knew her that well — just a background character in my life, but the Jill I knew could write a mean paper back in the day.
    News reports indicate that your friend Jill was a Michigan native — any chance she grew up in NH then moved? The photos I’ve found don’t really match what I remember about the Jill I grew up with.
    I lost two friends on 9/11 — one of them was just at the WTC for the day and otherwise would have been hundreds of miles away. The last one you’d expect to be in such a place. Kinda like the Jill I knew.
    Thanks in advance, and she’s in my prayers.

  24. Hi Brad,
    To put your mind at ease, I think you are thinking of a different person. Jill is from Ann Arbor, MI. She grew up there through high school. At UMass, she swam and played water polo as well as wrote for the college paper.
    hey Jeff, you are completely correct in saying Jill is focused and determined. I’ve never known an individual more focused and determined to do her work well and liver her life. I am also angry to keep reading that word “aggressive” because I think some people are interpreting it incorrectly. I do believe the word “agressive” does describe Jill. I just think some people are taking it our out context by defining it as “reckless”. “Agressive” means she went after her goals. She’s a go-getter… A strong woman. While I had my doubts about her even heading to the Middle East, and believe me, I told her that, I understand her reasoning and her passion. Passion. That’s the word that embodies what Jill is all about. Thank you for caring so much about Jill. She has so many friends all over. Good people too. I’m confident she will be okay. We just have to find her….

  25. Julie, thank you for the info. I’m personally breathing a little easier, but it’s still a horribly worrisome situation for anyone involved. I just wish there was more information available through the mainstream media. Not knowing’s the worst part.
    Thank you again.

  26. My thoughts are with Jill and her family,
    I knew Jill for a short time in Ann Arbor around the end of High School and unfortunately lost touch the following years. I remember meeting her for the first time at a party, she was talking a mile a minute and i was having a hard time trying to keep up. She was very honest, focused, and dedicated back then and i can assure you that that is what has made her the great reporter that she is today.
    Like Andy Wood said above “This is so unbelievably awful, and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person, & this is the last way I wanted to get re-connected”

  27. LOL David. That’s Jill for sure. I remember when she first arrived at the JT. I normally heard nary a peep from the newsroom, but on her first day, I heard this clarion American voice speaking so fast. I knew I’d been out of the country for too long when I had to ask her to slow it down just a bit. It was work keeping up with that speedy tongue of hers. I know it’s the last way anyone wants to have to remember these things but it is nice to see her friends and colleagues drawing together in support.

  28. I grew up with her in Ann Arbor and still live in the area- everyone here is crazy, they can’t believe it, I don’t even know what to say but I hope her poor mother is surviving this whatever way she can. Hope you come home soon, Jill.

  29. Tonite our local Christian Science Church held its weekly testimonial meeting. A few people spoke about Jill’s abjuction. We are all keeping her in our prayers. Our service was concluded with the following hymn:
    O dreamer leave thy dreams for joyfulwaking
    O captive rise and sing for thou art free;
    The Christ is here, all dreams of error breaking,
    Unloosing bonds of all captivity
    He comes to bless thee on his wings of healing
    To banish pain, and wipe all tears away;
    He comes a-new, to humble hearts revealing
    The mounting foot-steps of the upward way.
    He comes to give thee joy for desolation,
    Beauty for ashes of the vanished years;
    For every tear to bring full compensation,
    To give thee confidence for all thy fears.
    He comes to call the dumb to joyful singing;
    The deaf to hear; the blinded eyes to see;
    The glorious tidings of salvation bringing.
    O captive, rise, thy saviour comes to thee.
    We know that God’s arms are encircling Jill right now and keeping her safe.
    Our love and prayers go out to Jill and her family and friends.

  30. Natasha and Jeff,
    I just learned of the disappearance of your dear friend Jill from LeDhu. This is so tragic for all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you both.
    Aunt Gayle

  31. I was also a friend of Jill’s at UMASS Amherst and worked with her at the newspaper and as you have read, her ethics and dedication, were unparalled. She announced to us that she would accomplish something in journalism by age 30 and she did more than that. She made the world better. I also want to ‘Thank You’ for posting this blog. It helps to know other people care and can share memories of her. I saw Jill on one of her last days at The Wall Street Journal and we spoke about her desire to go abroad. I am so proud of her for doing it and doing it the best anyone could.

  32. It is just irresponsible to spread a rumor, so let us just end it here. It gets people’s hopes up falsely and is just simply unfair.

  33. I just want to take a moment here and say that I have been praying for Jill Carroll. From what I have heard she was an amazing person. And as for Allen… I as one of your family member will miss you. I , along with other family members, will do everything in our power to take care of your family….
    Love you Allen Enwiya.
    aka my angel

  34. I skipped my ballet class tonight to search for any news on Jill. I have been praying about her for a week now since I learned of the news. I do not know Jill personally, but something keeps tugging at my consciousness to keep her close to my heart. I hope she can feel our support and that it gives her strength and encouragement to survive the ordeal.
    As a child in Sunday School I learned a simple saying “there is no spot where God is not”. I pray that the very spot Jill is right now is indeed holy ground that keeps her from harm. I trust that God knows where Jill is and it is my sincerest prayer that her captors become conscious and release her back to her loved ones unharmed.
    They don’t need her this way.

  35. I trained for a triathlon with Jill. She was an amazing inspiration to me in so many facets of her life. I’ll be keeping my eyes open if anyone knows how we can be proactive in Jill’s safety.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you Jill. I look forward to meeting you again.

  36. Although I only knew Jill for a short time, she left a large impression in my mind. I swam with her at UMASS Amherst. When I began my freshman season I was having a rough time, Jill immediately reached out to me. Every day her kind words and smiling face were what kept me going…she is in my prayers, it’s the only way I can repay her for how much she unknowingly helped me.

  37. You know, I am a US Marine and have been to Iraq and getting ready to go back. I wish no harm on the innocent but if she had stuck to her American roots and supported what good we are doing, then she wouldnt be in this position. And I dont want to hear any of your bullshit about anti war crap..if you havent been there to see first hand go to hell. You know nothing of what you talk about. She wears the terrorists attire, worships their ideology extremist bullshit and supports them more than what used to be her own people. So when these idiots kill her, she should ask herself if us as Americans would harm an innocent woman. Not at all. And for the terrorist who writes that he is an American, and states he wonders if our own government played a role in this, you are one stupid islamic bastard. You must be remembering your own government and to alot of us, you are not American. You will never be. You are the enemy. All of you will find in the end that these terrorists will prove that they are the enemy for eternity and they are all united. If you that claim you are Americans would open up your damn eyes and unite with your own people, you would not be a traitor. But you are. The sad thing is you will never see it. So go over there and pick up a weapon so I can give you your right to go to Allah..It will be my pleasure.

  38. Goodness, Troy, brainwashed much? A young woman is missing, and obviously is one who loved humanity. Your quip, that people in America who choose not to support this negative campaign of violence are traitors, is absurd. I believe that during the American Revolution that the patriots were considered traitors also. America in past wars have hurt civilians, this is documented fact. I suppose for me personally confirmation of this comes from stories I have heard from Vietnam veterans, and the mental horrors that they still relive of innocents dead. Yes, Troy that means women and children. We live in a country where may I paraphrase Mr. Ben Franklin, that if we see something wrong with our government we have an obligation to change it. So not that I should have warrented your small minded tirad with a response, but thanks for making my convictions stronger that those in the military need a social, and emotional IQ test. Not all of the Iraqi people are supposed to be traitors, or terrorist even to you. You are supposed to be there helping them rebuild their lives. Attitudes like yours are part of the reason that people like Jill risk their safety. God and goddess speed to Jill, her friends, and family.

  39. jesus_with_horns

    Right on. I can only agree with Jeniffer. There is absolutely nothing for the white person in Iraq to be attracted with. Listening to this “respect of Arab culture” makes me feel sick. We should’ve simply occupied Iraq, divide it and exploit its natural resourses, instead of trying to impose democracy on people that have racial immunity against it.
    Also what sickens me are those “praying” comments – “pray for Jill”, just like it’s going to make any difference. She willingly wanted to play man’s game, I respect her for it, but now it looks like she’ll have to pay the price. My sincere condolences.

  40. Um, she’s kinda hot – anybody have any swimsuit pics?
    I don’t understand what’s up with these ideological youngsters who feel they need to prove something by going to some shithole to die for whatever vaporous cause. Who cares? She should get back to the US and be a trophy wife for someone like me, with a Porsche and a trust-fund.
    PS I’m not sure if they’ll kill her or not – on the one hand, it would have enormous propaganda worth, especially after all the ‘heartfelt’ pleas for her release. They should just ignore it and it’s more likely she would be unharmed, but you know the media whores and their need for a real tearjerker or heartpumper to make copy…
    Then again, the enormous castigation that would come down on her captors, should they kill her might cause more problems for the insurgency and their destructive plans. I don’t know, these camel-fuckers are just too hard to figure out. I’m glad I live in the midwest and don’t have to deal with them.
    Does anybody want to learn how to play casualty poker? It’s a game me and a couple buddies made up one night while drinking beer and watching CNN. Here’s how it works: You take all the Iraq casualties for a week, broken down by days. You can pick either civilian, insurgency, private contractors/journalists or military deaths, so it works well for three to five players. Say 30 Iraqis were killed in a suicide bomb strike, that would be a ten and a three card; in the case of military, you take the number dead for the number card and the rank for the face card – anything above major is an ace, major is king, captain queen, lieutenant jack. Any journalist is a wild card all players can use. Female suicide bombers are a wild card also. Private contractors are like a hole-card, you get to draw or take cards based on the number of contractors killed. Any insurgent death is the same as civilian: if 45 insurgents die, that would be a ten, a four and a five. You can play this every week, me and my buddies do it on Sunday during football season, because we’re usually drinking and betting on the game anyway. You can play five-card or seven card, depending on how high that week’s death toll is. It takes a little while to get to learn the game, but it’s great fun and we should be able to play it for years to come.

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