I am ruminating about journalist Daniel Pearl. Many of us who remember seeing the news on TV in early 2002, and watched the video of him with his terrorist captors were shocked. I for one, could not believe his sense of responsibility and dedication, not only to journalism, but also to his Jewishness and his family, during the most stressful and horrific moments of his life, as he made his worldwide televised statements. I was torn between my awe for him, my heartbreak for him and his family and my utter disgust for his captors. It was multifold, emotionally, and I remember bawling like a baby as my eyes were glued to the TV screen. It is hard to believe that next month, February 1, 2012, will be the tenth anniversary of his murder.
I am constantly reminded of him (as I was today), as I pass by Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA, on my way to the book store, on my way to a library story time or when I am running errands at that end of the San Fernando Valley, three or four times a week. The magnet high school was started in honor of Daniel and his journalistic contributions to the world. It is located on the same campus grounds as Birmingham High School, which is the same high school Daniel attended. It is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
According to the Daniel Pearl Magnet High School website:
Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, a small stand-alone comprehensive Magnet high school in the Los Angeles public school system with an API of 803, offers a safe, supportive learning environment in which every student benefits from rigorous academics and a focus on journalism and communications.
The three photographs above (not good ones) are of the sign displayed right behind the chain link fence, with the sidewalk separating the curb and the sign. The area is heavily guarded, with security cameras and other forms of security on the premises. There is no street parking permitted. I took the captures quickly through my car window, and left.
Daniel’s family started the Daniel Pearl Foundation, in memory of his “life and work“. There are many events and initiatives listed on the website, along with information regarding Daniel and his ideals. The Foundation is dedicated to helping youth and young adults through journalistic programs, internships and so much more.
Daniel Pearl’s short life has inspired many through his ethics, ideals and commitment to truth. Each time I pass the Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, I pray for him. May his memory be for a Loving Blessing.
Who Killed Daniel Pearl, by Bernard-Henri Levy, is extremely heart-wrenching, and a serious work of non-fiction detailing the last days of journalist Daniel Pearl’s life.
Daniel Pearl’s physical death, and his last words “I am Jewish”, has sparked a life of its own, not only bringing Pearl to life, eternal, but, educating others, worldwide, on the humankind within of all of us…the fact we are one… under the sun… no matter where we reside.
His death inspired Levy to take on the enormous cause of trying to uncover the truth of Pearl’s death. What he discovered, in his travels, is both appalling and incredible. Facts are uncovered, brought out in the open, and given us more than food for thought. Levy goes beyond mere conjuncture, by traveling, and sojourning, for one year, and walking in the footsteps of the last days of Pearl. His journal writings go beyond the ordinary, and, finally, were put into this compelling book, a commentary on Pearl, as much as it is on the mystery surrounding Pearl’s execution, leading him, and us, to ask intense and hard questions surrounding Pearl’s death, and exactly who was at fault. His insight and inquisitiveness goes beyond that of mere investigation.
The book reads like an intrigue, a dramatic and compelling spy and detective story, but in reality, is based on the fact that Pearl was murdered. The book goes in-depth, beyond boundaries that even governments went, and into the heart of, not only Pearl, but the heart of who might actually have killed Daniel Pearl, and why he was murdered.
Who Killed Daniel Pearl, is a book, yes, but more than that, it is a metaphor for Daniel Pearl’s untimely death at the hands of terrorists.
I personally own and have read this book several times, as recently as two weeks ago.
I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl, by Judea Pearl is an excellent compilation of stories and reflections that reflect Daniel Pearl’s inspiration of others. I own and have read this book, and read it over and over again, during the High Holy Days, and during other moments where I want to ponder my Jewishness in the scheme of others.
Another wonderful book regarding Daniel Pearl was written by his wife, Mariane Pearl”: A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl. I also own and have read this heartfelt and inspiring book.
I just noticed…the date…”1/2/12″. I find it interesting. There is no meaning behind it for me other than the repetition of numbers.
January 2, 2012 – 7 Tevet, 5772
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