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Hearing about Osama in TZ

2 May 2011
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At breakfast today I learned that Osama bin Laden had been killed (it was exactly 7:45am local time when I learned). I didn’t hear any more details until talking to Dan (the SIC Babati District Manager that I’m working with) that he was shot in the head by US Special Forces and that news coverage showed celebrations in front of the White House.

As Dan and I walked to town to run errands, a man speaking English to us asked: “You have killed Osama, how does it feel?” I just replied that I was here in Tanzania, so it certainly wasn’t me pulling the trigger.

Later, a shop owner asked today [in Swahili] if Osama was really dead (it was being talked about on the radio). I said I didn’t know. With a smile, he said, “yes, yes, he is dead.”

Since the news here seems to still be a bit unsure, I’m not quite certain how I feel about it. I mean, he was a bad guy, that much I know. But now that he’s gone, I’m just concerned with what that means for the people who are angry about his death — and in particular, what that might mean for the great number of us Americans abroad.

Not that any of you should worry about me — I’m in the middle of nowhere. Seriously.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 2 May 2011 11:42 am

    Not to mention the fact that Americans were out celebrating in the streets. Felt a bit queasy about that.

    Love the blog by the way.

    TZ

  2. Lynn permalink
    3 May 2011 2:32 am

    I came home from work yesterday and my roommate told me, “you must be the last person in the world to find out.” He probably has a point but I too am a bit wary of the whole situations. A bunch of systems went down in Copenhagen last night and Rolf (who works at a local newspaper) hypothesized that it might be cyber-terrorists lashing out in response to the assassination. Hard to tell if he has a point but it does make me a bit wary.

  3. abedgell permalink
    3 May 2011 9:44 pm

    I had the same experience in Mbale, Uganda after they executed Saddam. Several people came up to me and say “Hey American! You killed Saddam. Did you watch him hang?” I politely explained to them that Saddam was hanged in Iraq, and I had never been to Iraq.

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