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In memoriam, Linda Norgrove, humanitarian in Afghanistan

The New York Times reports:

A Scottish aid worker who was taken hostage two weeks ago by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan was killed by her captors early Saturday during an unsuccessful rescue raid, according to the British Foreign Office.

The aid worker, Linda Norgrove, 36, was regional director of a jobs program financed by the United States Agency for International Development for Afghanistan’s eastern region.

Former colleagues described her as a person of enormous warmth and kindness who was deeply committed to helping people in poor areas of the world and who had spent years in Peru and Laos as well as in Afghanistan.

Ms. Norgrove loved Afghanistan from the first time she arrived in 2005 on a United Nations mission, colleagues said. While many United Nations workers stay for a year or two, she stayed for more than three years working on environmental programs and helping to administer an alternative livelihoods program for farmers in poppy farming regions.

In her latest job she was the only expatriate in the Jalalabad office of DAI, directing about 200 Afghan professionals and coordinating with Afghan ministries and local companies. Sensitive to local tradition, she always wore the long, loose tunic and trousers known as a shalwar kameez and covered her hair with a large scarf. “I’ve seen few people among Afghan and Muslim people like her,” said a man who worked with her who gave his name as Bakhtiar. “She was very kind, very helpful, a lovely lady, a very respectful woman.”

Deepest condolences and sympathies to Linda Norgrove’s family and friends.

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  1. Grant wrote:

    I was looking for a job back in May, after we moved from DC to Houston. I was having a very hard time keeping track of where I had applied. I literally applied to hundreds of jobs. With all my spare time, I put together a simple website with all the landing pages of the open positions at well over 200 companies nationwide.

    For those of you out there, looking for a job. Here’s the website:

    I’m looking for suggestions to expand the list as well, so please let me know!

    Good Luck!

    Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink
  2. ewaffle wrote:

    May perpetual light shine upon her.

    Posted October 10, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink
  3. brian mckendrick wrote:

    so sad makes you feel proud my thoughts are with you all

    Posted October 10, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Permalink
  4. Salima wrote:

    To Linda Norgrove’s family, I am so thankful for people like your brave daughter/sister who put themselves at such risk to try to redress the balance of such an unfair world. It’s tragic Linda paid the ultimate price. I will remember her along with all the other modern heroes in my heart.

    Posted October 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Permalink
  5. LW wrote:

    Have you noticed that USAID never, ever acknowledges its contractors who die on the job? There is plenty of sympathy and gratitude on the website when the agency’s full-fledged staff are killed in action, but, on days that their contractors die in the field (such as when the Serena Hotel in Kabul was shot up in 2008), USAID has nothing to say. This is not unrelated, I suppose, to the dramatically different levels of security afforded USAID staff, as opposed to their lowly step-sisters, the contractors.

    Bugs me.

    Posted October 12, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink
  6. Karl wrote:

    Was she was killed by her captors?
    Or was she killed by an US soldier?

    Posted October 12, 2010 at 10:31 am | Permalink
  7. Keith R Radford Jr wrote:

    my heart goes out to her loved ones and our soldier’s that without dought suffered the loss with them during this event in time called for by something that by statments made on C-Span 10-11-10 recourded Speaker David Cameron said both the US and the UK would be investagating and we will all be looking at the evadence in hope that your hearts are at peace.

    Posted October 12, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

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