Start by marking “A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Danny Pearl” as Want to Read: A Mighty Heart is Mariane Pearl's account of the kidnapping and murder of her husband, Wall Street Journal's Daniel Pearl, by terrorists in Pakistan in early A Mighty Heart: The Inside Story of the Al Qaeda Kidnapping of Danny Pearl Story time just got better with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers. Editorial Reviews. bestthing.info Review. Most people were unfamiliar with Wall Street Journal She weaves in memories and thoughts about Danny, which give the book a keen poignancy. She describes how they first met at a party of her.
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A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Daniel Pearl () is a memoir by The book was reviewed by, among others, The Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Sun-Times, The Spectator and The New York Review of. A MIGHTY HEART: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Danny Pearl. Mariane Pearl, Author, Sarah Crichton, With with Sarah Crichton. Simon & Schuster. I write this book for you, Adam, so you know that your father was not a hero but an ordinary man. An ordinary hero with a mighty heart. I write this book for you so.
It will take all my energy to prepare for the interview I have to tape for French radio with the director of an organization that tries to protect women from domestic violence.
As in India, where the horrifying problem has received more attention, domestic abuse is rife here, with shocking numbers of wives being beaten by their husbands, or worse — attacked with acid, even burned alive.
It is always this way on the final day of an assignment; there are so many more interviews to conduct, so many more leads to pursue. He has meetings with the Civil Aviation Authority director to talk about border surveillance as Pakistan tries to prevent terrorists from turning Karachi into their safe haven. Most pressing of all, he is investigating links between Richard C. Since Reid was thwarted in his attempt to blow up a Paris-to-Miami flight on December 22, several facts have been established, in particular this: Reid was acting on orders from someone within the Al Qaeda network in Pakistan, and very possibly in this city.
Originally, Reid was to fly on December 21, but he was questioned so extensively at the Paris airport, his plane left without him.
Who was the man in Pakistan? But was Gilani more than a spiritual adviser to Reid? Was it he who ordered Reid onto the Paris-to-Miami flight? After weeks of trying to track down Gilani through intermediaries, Danny finally seems to have secured an interview with him.
They are to meet early this evening. The fixer is the lifeblood of the correspondent. In regions where everything from government speeches to body language must be deciphered, they serve as multidimensional translators. Navigators, too.
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Saeed is not getting off to a good start. This worries Asra. The paper claims about two million readers, which, as Danny notes, is about as many copies as The Wall Street Journal sells; comparisons stop there, though. Saeed finally arrives an hour or so late. What is most impressive about him, besides his Western-style checked shirt and pleated trousers, is how jittery he is.
Once Danny leaves, our big house falls into silence. Across the street, parrots of a startling green color talk away, offering a welcome change from the cynical chuckling of the hooded black crows that provide unavoidable company in southern Asia. In the main room, Nasrin crouches on the floor, gathering dust with a handmade broom of twigs tied up with rope.
Her daughter, Kashva, follows her like a little shadow. I scare the girl in spite of my attempts to befriend her, but she is fascinated by Danny, who is always more attractive to children than I am. My headache is frightening. I think with nostalgia about the days when aspirin was permissible. I return to our room to rest a bit, and to daydream about Danny, who is out reporting in the city. I love the way the shirt he so carefully irons in the morning invariably winds up rumpled and falling out of his trousers by early afternoon.
He wins people over so naturally. I think it is a subtle combination of his boyishness and good manners. Or is it because Danny never lies? In his early days at the Journal, Danny became known for his delightful A-heds, the quirky articles the paper runs in the middle of the front page.
Danny can spin unexpected tales straight out of the ordinary. But I really admire the way Danny has begun to go deeper, further, with his reporting in recent years. The territory he now explores is less certain. He weaves his way through a world filled with narrow, conflicting views.
He peers down alleyways, connects the dots, explains the butterfly effect — how the slightest movement in one place can have massive consequences somewhere else. I see Danny growing and taking responsibility as a writer and as a man. He is becoming more genuinely concerned about a world he embraces ambitiously.
He makes me believe in the power of journalism. Danny, who was then working on an article about pharmaceutical products, told me he understood and promised he would think it over. A few minutes later, he rolled his matching chair next to mine. In a few days, that conviction was put to the test when we arrived in the state of Gujarat in northern India. The region had suffered a massive earthquake, and casualties were considerable. Neither of us had ever reported a natural disaster, and as we came closer to the epicenter, the horror almost overwhelmed us.
We watched mutely as a corpse was extracted. The smell of death was everywhere.
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I was working as part of a reporting team for a French publication. Back in Bombay, Danny and I had dinner with him.
The man was a senior reporter, but all he could talk about was the contempt with which he viewed journalism. He talked about illusions and lies, about news as spectacle. He seemed totally indifferent to any sense of responsibility, to any regard for truth.
He seemed half dead. After the meal, Danny slipped away to his desk, where, depressed, he sat for a long time with his head in his hands. So he wrote a follow-up:. It smells. It reeks. Numbers of dead are thrown about — 25,, , — but nobody really knows. AIDS will kill more Indians this year but get less coverage here.
In Afghanistan, refugees are freezing to death in camps. But an earthquake is sudden death, a much more compelling story…. Karachi, December 31st, , Three journalists about to spend New Years in Karachi.
All three in love. Not a single word spoken indicating worries. I arrived from Paris this morning. I went half way across the globe to be together with my loving husband and my coming baby. I brought some cheese from my fine food store in Montmartre and some scotch for Danny in a little bottle.
Danny is back before four P. As usual, I run into his arms and bury my face in his neck. I stay there, wanting to get drunk on his smell, wanting to feel some of his sweat. I do not like to be separated from him. He takes me in his arms and tells me how much he has missed me. Occasionally I like to be separated from him for a few days just to savor this feeling we have — painful but delicious — when the one we love is absent.
Just for the pleasure of finding him again when he comes to pick me up at the airport. Conventionally speaking, I am not a good spouse. I can cook only one dish, and I never remember to download toilet paper. Our complicity grows richer every day, made out of trying moments, new challenges, true joys.
Danny loves to be proud of me. But how do you make sure someone is actually Jewish? Mostly I asked myself, how can someone hate that much? I can't understand it.
A MIGHTY HEART: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Danny Pearl
How can anyone hate so much that they have to destroy anything and everything that doesn't conform to their viewpoint? I agree with Mariane. We need to begin a dialogue. And we need to keep it going, no matter what. We have to make things better, because no one is going to do it for us. To my mind, Danny's moods have become unpredictable, too.
Searching for the truth
I can't tell if it is because he is about to become a father, or because the world has gone amok in the four months since the World Trade Center was brought down, taking with it more than a few certainties. Militant Islamic terrorism may hit anywhere on the globe, but the heart if you can call it that of its network is here, in this region, and the work at hand is daunting. Danny and I have always reported alongside each other.
I accompany him on most of his interviews; he comes along for most of mine. Yet I do not kid myself. But our differences in background and in culture make us well matched.
We know naturally when to hold back and let the other speak. I make Danny laugh to help him forget his worries; I make sure there is silence when he concentrates. And we engage each other in endless philosophical debates -- about truth and courage, about how to fight preconceived ideas, about how to learn from and respect other cultures. Still, to try to shed light on the nature of terrorist activities is to plunge into a kingdom of darkness. Already it is getting hot. To make me feel better, Danny reminds me that today is the last day of this assignment in Pakistan.
Tomorrow we will check in to a five-star hotel in Dubai and stretch out on the beaches of the Arabian Gulf. It's a roundabout way back to our home in Bombay, but Pakistan and India are now at loggerheads, and there is no longer a direct connection between the neighboring countries.
Battling over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir, the two nations have escalated their historical animosity to the point that the world is braced for either side to unleash an attack against the other. Both Pakistan and India have used Kashmir as an excuse to justify recent military buildups; both possess arms of mass destruction; both strike poses as if they'll use the weapons.
I think of the cops of Karachi, patrolling the streets in their pitiful uniforms, batons their only weapons. The tension is palpable. We hear it in the voices of our Pakistani friends.
On December 24 , -- the rare occasion that Christmas, Hanukkah, and Eid-ul-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, coincided -- Danny received a note from an anxious friend in Peshawar, a relatively unstable city on the Pakistani-Afghan border: Happy Eid and happy Crismiss to you. Please also tell us about your wife. Are Indian armies ready to fight with us but they do not know that the Muslims will sacrifice their lives for Islam. In the case of war, India will be divided in lot of pieces and Muslim will take away his [clothes].
Business conditions in Pakistan especially in Peshawar are not so good So at the end I say that God may live long for us and whole of yours family.
With best wishes, Wasim Wasim is the director of a noodle factory. Danny met him two years ago in the Tehran airport. A very conservative Muslim, Wasim distrusts Westerners in general, but we went to visit him last December, and he treated us as his special guests, plying us with local delights, grilled meats and pastries, and inviting us to visit the marketplaces during Ramadan.
Strolling through one store, he randomly picked up a pair of high-heeled shoes, shoes no proper Muslim wife would ever wear, and he insisted on downloading them for me. On another night we had the honor of being invited to dinner at his house, a two-story mansion in an overcrowded area of the city. After we arrived, Danny disappeared in a cloud of several men, while seven women swooped in to take charge of me.
Sitting cross-legged on carpets and removing their veils, they studied me with intense and unapologetic curiosity as they made me eat three plates of meatballs and rice. Mariane and I are taking my colleague and our local Kashmiri carpet dealers out for Christmas dinner. So we'll have three Muslims, two Jews and a Buddhist, which sounds like the beginning of an airplane joke, but may be a good way to wish peace on earth -- or at least in Kashmir.
Nomani, a most unconventional woman. An Indian-born Muslim, Asra was raised in West Virginia, and she is in Karachi to complete research on a book she's writing about Tantra. Tantra is generally associated with the sexual practices taught in The Kama Sutra; Asra insists she is focusing on its spiritual side. She is short and feminine but athletic, and striking-looking. Hers is an assertive beauty: Her shoulder-length black hair glistens with the oil that Indians use for daily head massages, and her face is dominated by sharp, broad cheekbones and eyes so dark and large that in repose, she can look like an ancient statue of Saraswati, the goddess who possesses all the learnings of the Vedas, from wisdom to devotion.
But in this world she is also outrageously avant-garde. Unmarried women do not, as a rule, live alone in Karachi, but that hasn't stopped Asra, and she has rented a huge house in a district that is, oddly, named Defense Phase 5. Not only that, she has recently fallen in love with one of the sons of Pakistan's elite, nine years her junior.
He is an attractive young man whom I immediately find somewhat empty. To welcome us, Asra has planted flowers at the entrance to the house, which is in a gated community, one of the most luxurious in Karachi. Here, the houses are guarded by a handful of skinny men, who take turns stationing themselves in a guardhouse, the main purpose of which is to protect them from the relentless heat.
The neighbors hold good positions in the army and the government, or perhaps organized crime. The terrible gangster Dawood Ibrahim, by reputation a bloody barbarian, is supposed to have property around here. Danny has toyed with the idea of profiling him for the paper. Inside, Asra has prepared a true honeymooners' bedroom for us. There are flowers and pine-scented candles, a bottle of massage oil, another of bubble bath.
To the left of our bed, a small window covered with wire looks out onto a room off the courtyard where a foldout cot occupies the place of honor next to a clothesline draped with children's clothes. This is the property of the house servants, Shabir and Nasrin, who could themselves be called the property of the house, because Asra hired them when she rented the place. I visited their room. They have nothing. They sleep on the floor, and their tiny daughter, Kashva, a doll-like girl with short hair, sleeps tucked between her parents.
Nasrin is pregnant. I dare not say "like me," so different will our two children's destinies be. Danny draws the curtain on the scene, his gesture a perfect metaphor for how one tends to deal with poverty everywhere. Our honeymoon room already looks like a whirlwind swept through it.
This is Danny's way of moving in, his trademark. He opens his suitcases and scatters everything within them. The French comic books he uses to learn my native language and which he thoroughly enjoys. Shaving equipment. His Flatiron mandolin, handmade in Bozeman, Montana, and more portable than his violin. Danny emerges from the bathroom in his shorts, cell phone in hand. He is one of those rare men whose eyes, those chestnut green eyes, always betray him; he cannot hide anything, especially when he's in a playful mood.
I smile because I find him beautiful, and because my love for him is absolute. Without dropping the phone, he slips under the sheet.
He crawls carefully over my body and reaches my rounded belly, where he starts a private conversation with our child in a tongue known only by the two of them. All I can gather is that he makes many promises for the moment the baby comes out.
I weave my fingers through his thick brown hair. Danny goes to the most unexpected hairstylists. Funny phrase, that. The more picturesque the barbershop, the happier Danny is.
Most of the time the barbers don't speak English, but this way one is always assured of a surprising result. This is Danny's way of facing the world: with trust. When we moved to Bombay in October , the first thing he did was go to the barber on our small street.
The fellow might have been cutting a white boy's hair for the first time in his entire life, but he had a great ancient barber chair with a dirty white leather seat and red armrests. I sat on the bench just behind Danny, following the action in the mirror. Everything was silent except for the drone of the flies and the snipping of the scissors.
Suddenly I realized women were not supposed to be here. Well, blame it on the cultural gap, I thought; I'm staying.
The barber began massaging Danny's head so vigorously that it whipped back and forth. Danny looked stricken with shyness, and he fought hard to avoid me in the mirror.
I nervously laughed so hard that tears came to my eyes. But they turned into real tears when I was startled by the awareness that we were actually going to live right here, on this very street, which was filled with rats, and where women weren't welcome, and where everyone seemed stern and stiff and cold. Where I was going to be a foreigner. An outsider. Danny is still talking to "Embryo," as we call him -- I think he is telling Embryo that he will be a boy. We found out the day before coming to Karachi, at a sophisticated clinic in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, where they not only perform prenatal sonograms but claim to be able to influence the gender of the baby.
Rock n Roll!! F-in A, man!He had travelled from his base in India with his wife, Marianne, also a journalist, who was pregnant with their first child. I scare the girl in spite of my attempts to befriend her, but she is fascinated by Danny, who is always more attractive to children than I am.
And journalists like the Pearls, who risk their own safety to discover and report difficult, complex truths about the world are heroes. A few minutes later, he rolled his matching chair next to mine. We hear it in the voices of our Pakistani friends.
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