I wanted to let folks know that I’m fine and wasn’t even in Kabul when the bombing/shotting took place at the Serena Hotel. It was however where we spent Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The number of close connections shows just what a small town this is.
- The Filipino woman who died was known for her great massages among the ex-pat community and my colleague visited her regularly. She was also a friend of our Filipino finance manager.
- The American who died was on another USAID funded project that we work with, though I didn’t know him personally.
- A guy working as a consultant for AED was in the lobby when he saw the gunmen storm in. He hid in the business center with the colleague of the Norwegian journalist who was killed.
- A woman who hid in the locker rooms with plaster coming off the walls from the shots was a colleague of a new friend I met on Facebook, a guy from Lewis & Clark that I ran into here, and a friend of a colleague from back in Washington.
- Another woman in the locker rooms was a woman who I’ve been in communication with and was supposed to meet up with for dinner this week.
- We happen to have the same security company as the Serena (no, not the best of news) and one of our main security guards just came from working at the Serena and was friends with all three of the guards that were shot. We also just hired a new driver two weeks ago who just came from his job as a Serena security guard on the same shift as the accident.
Despite the horror of the incident itself, the worst part is actually the threats that have come afterward. The Taliban has released a statement saying that they will be targeting places that ex-pats frequent. This means that we are now on lock down and aren’t able to go to restaurants or even the grocery store. Life won’t be the same again in Kabul. I try not to think too much about it.