Sunday, April 17, 2005

Marla Ruzicka Killed in Baghdad




I got a phone call from the US after midnight telling me that Marla Ruzika was killed in Baghdad yesterday. I got an email later from my friend Justin Alexander in Baghdad:

Dear friends & collegues of Marla,

Sometime between 3-6pm Baghdad time Marla died in a car crash. My current information is poor, but the accident may have happened on the Baghdad Airport road as she travelled to visit an Iraqi kid injured by a bomb, part of her daily work of identifying and supporting innocent victims of this conflict.

A US military convoy was involved in the event, but it is not clear at this stage in what way precisely.

I have no information on the whereabouts or health of her collegue Faiz who I believe was with her in the car.

I believe it is important that Marla be commemorated and that her work continue. In the short term I hope her friends will be able to identify and help those Iraqis she was in the process of assisting.

[...]

Marla was one innocent victim of conflict among millions, but I believe her work over the last two years has made a unique impact in highlighting and helping these people often forgotten as "collatoral damage".


Marla was my partner in the CIVIC survey project in Iraq. Someone took the above picture of me and her in the background more than a year ago in Nasiriyya. I published the results of the work on http://civilians.info.