It has been two days since the release of the most recent heart-wrenching video, in which my dear friend Jill is weeping and begging for her life! Ah! I guess hope is what keeping us going. Knowing that she is still alive is enough consolation to make me keep the faith. In the mean time, the following article provides some analysis of the latest video. Here are some excerpts:
To him [a member of the Washington Post’s Iraqi staff], Jill Carroll’s white head scarf conveyed specific meaning: "He could tell by watching the video that basically she was still with the Sunnis because Shiites would never have put a white scarf on her," Spinner related. She [Washington Post reporter Jackie Spinner] noted as well that "Jill and I both wore headscarves, two-piece things that you don’t really have to hook–it’s difficult to get your scarf to look exactly how an Iraqi woman wears her scarf if you haven’t done it since you were an adolescent. So you can cheat and use these two-piece things that you just flip over your head."
But her Iraqi colleague noted that the way the scarf was tied in the latest Carroll video was "a well-known way that women scarf themselves in the Adhamiyah neighborhood of Baghdad."
Source: [Editor and Publisher]
In other developments, The Jordan Times, where Jill worked for a year, ran an editorial expressing anguish following the release of the latest video:
Jill Carroll worked at The Jordan Times for one year and she certainly never appeared as someone who would cry easily. On the contrary, her inner strength was always immediately apparent to everyone crossing path with her. But last night we saw her in tears. And this filled us with anguish and anger at the same time. To her captors, we want to say: Every tear you make Jill shed is fresh shame that you bring on all Iraqis, Arabs and Muslims. By kidnapping her, you silenced one of the few pro-Arab and pro-Iraqi voices in the international press. By continuing to hold her, you are harming the Arab and Iraqi cause.
And in other media developments, Aljazeera’s general manager, Wadah Khanfar called upon Jill’s abductors to release her saying that detaining her was "unethical" and that she should be released immediately.
UPDATE: The front page of Baghdad’s New Sabah newspaper carried a public service announcement Wednesday with a picture of Jill urging her captors to free her. The headline read: "She loves Iraq. Now she needs your help." The paper also ran an editorial in which they asked for her release. Here are some excerpts:
American freelance journalist Jill Carroll, who used the name Zainab in Iraq, has been held by kidnappers since Jan. 7. Jill loves Iraq and Iraqis. She is known for her independent thinking … Everyone who has a conscience, and a faith in God and the law, cannot find any way to justify this horrible act. Her kidnapping, and ending her freedom, cannot lead to [bowing to the demands of] the leaders of the Revenge Brigades who ordered this act …
We as Iraqis join with Dr. Adnan al-Dulaimi in calling for Carroll’s release from captivity. We are sad and anguished at the attacks on the press, acts that express bitter facts and a black page in our history, and shame everyone who stands by and justifies such dirty acts. We address this, our open message, to the Revenge Brigades, to release ‘Zainab,’ Jill Carroll, in the name of God, and in the name of Iraqi honor, and in the name of Arabic and Islamic gallantry. Let her do her job or let her go to her frightened family.
Also, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has commented on efforts to free Jill. "Everything is being done to work with those who might have influence, and there are an awful lot of people who are calling for her release," she told reporters Tuesday.
UPDATE 2: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a new appeal today (in Arabic) to Middle Eastern media outlets calling for the Jill’s release. According to CAIR, the appeal was sent out to the group’s extensive media contact database throughout the Arab world. The appeal repeated the Washington-based group’s previous statement that no cause is served by targeting journalists that are trying to relate the human suffering caused by war.