TITLE: Susan Hirsch Discusses Her Book on Terrorism and Grief
SPEAKER: Susan Hirsch
EVENT DATE: 11/29/2006
RUNNING TIME: 44 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
Anthropologist Susan F. Hirsch discussed her book, "In the Moment of Greatest Calamity: Terrorism, Grief and a Victim's Quest for Justice," in a program sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center.
On Aug. 7, 1998, bombs exploded at U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Hirsch, who was running an errand inside the embassy at Dar es Salaam, survived the blast. Her husband, Abdurahman Abdulla, who was waiting for her outside, did not. The two blasts killed more than 200 and injured 5,000.
Hirsch worked through devastating grief with the help of friends and families on two continents and by observing the mourning rituals of her husband's community in Kenya.
After the alleged bombers were captured and sent to New York to stand trial, Hirsch also witnessed firsthand the attempts of America's criminal justice system to handle terrorism through the law. In her book, Hirsch tells her story on many levels: personal, anthropological, legal and political.
Speaker Biography: An associate professor at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, Susan Hirsch wrote her book in 2002-03, when she was on a Rockefeller Fellowship in Islamic studies at the Library's Kluge Center.