Abducted Reporter Was Living Dream in Iraq

BOSTON – Jill Carroll had just been laid off from a newspaper job and decided it was time to fulfill her dream of going to the Middle East to cover a war. Her proud sister has been keeping track of her travels in a blog called “Lady of Arabia.”

“All I ever wanted to be was a foreign correspondent,” Carroll wrote last year in the American Journalism Review. “It seemed the right time to try to make it happen.”

KIDNAPPED: Freelance reporter
Jill Carroll has worked in Iraq
since 2003.
Delphine Minoui

Carroll, a 28-year-old freelancer for The Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped Saturday in Baghdad, when gunmen ambushed her car and killed her translator. She had been on her way to meet a Sunni Arab official in one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

In the February/March issue of AJR, Carroll wrote that she moved to Jordan in late 2002, six months before the war started, “to learn as much about the region as possible before the fighting began.”

“There was bound to be plenty of parachute journalism once the war started, and I didn’t want to be a part of that,” she wrote.

Carroll was described by her editor as an aggressive reporter, but not a reckless one.

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Carroll has had work from Iraq published in the Monitor, AJR, U.S. News & World Report, an Italian news wire and other publications. She has been interviewed often on National Public Radio. Her most recent story was published in Friday’s issue of the Monitor, headlined “Violence threatens Iraqi coalition.”

“She’s a very professional, straight-up, fact-oriented reporter. Unlike most Western reporters, Carroll is able to speak Arabic, “so she can operate pretty well in Iraq,” Ingwerson said.

Despite her language skills, Carroll used an Iraqi translator. The translator was killed during the kidnapping, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said.

Maj. Falah Mohamadawi said the translator told police just before he died that the abduction took place when he and Carroll were heading to meet Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the Sunni Arab Iraqi Accordance Front, in the Adel section of the city. The neighborhood is dominated by Sunni Arabs and is considered one of the toughest in Baghdad.

Mourning Marla ◊ by Jill Carroll,
Christian Science Monitor –  posted April 18, 2005.

“Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

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