Sunday, December 7, 2014

In mourning

Last week, an American teacher was brutally murdered inside the bathroom of an upscale mall in Reem Island, Abu Dhabi.

My first reaction when the news came out? Shock. After all, this kind of thing hardly ever happens around here – especially not in high-end places such as this one.

But I must be honest here. The first thing that crossed my mind was that the crime was some kind of personal vengeance or that the victim had simply been in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

However, after learning that the same person who had stabbed that American teacher to death also managed to plant a bomb at the door of an Egyptian-American Doctor’s apartment (which was actually only a couple of streets away from my building), I am not so sure anymore. It seems more of an elaborated plot.

For the first time in the seven years I’ve been in the UAE, I felt uncertain and afraid.

It is amazing how things can change from one moment to the next. Just the other day, I was talking to some friends and mentioned how relieved I was to no longer live in Brazil. Here, I could finally let my guard down, instead of having to constantly keep looking over my shoulders for potential threats.

I had completely forgotten how awful and strenuous it is to feel this way.

Over the weekend I caught myself overthinking my every move. I was suspicious of people and behaviors. For a moment there, I even considered avoiding certain places, for they might be a target to whatever else might be in store to disrupt and terrorize people around here. Ironic that my last post talks about generalizations and how stupid they are - and here I was generalizing away.

The police has been amazing so far. They actually managed to identify and arrest the suspect (which, by the way, I thought would be impossible to do since the person was wearing an abaya, gloves and niqab) within 48 hours of the crime. So this gives me some kind of reassurance.

But, unfortunately, something was broken. I just hope it can be restored. Soon.

Meanwhile, my heart goes out to the family of Ibolya Ryan, especially her three children, Adam, Aidan and Timea, who are also victims of this violent and incomprehensible act.