10 Eye Team Members Murdered in Afghanistan
Global Ministries Southern Asia Area Executive, James Vijayakumar, received the following sad news from our partners in Afghanistan:
BY THE NURISTAN EYE CAMP TEAM
(7 August 2010, Kabul, Afghanistan)
We have been informed that 10 people, both foreign and Afghan, were murdered in Badakhshan. It is likely that they are members of the eye camp team. The team had been in Nuristan at the invitation of communities there. After having completed their medical work the team was returning to Kabul.
At this stage we do not have many details but our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who are presumed killed. If these reports are confirmed we object to this senseless killing of people who have done nothing but serve the poor. Some of the foreigners have worked alongside the Afghan people for decades.
This tragedy negatively impacts our ability to continue serving the Afghan people as we has been doing since 1966. We hope it will not stop our work that benefits over a quarter of a million Afghans each year.
When we have more news on what has happened we will inform you via this webpage. Again, our thoughts and prayer are with those affected at this time.
Press Release number 2
(Monday 9th August 2010, 3pm)
It is with great sadness that we must confirm that the 10 people killed were our friends and colleagues from the Nuristan medical eye camp team.
Please see below for the list of those killed in Badakhshan on Thursday 5th August 2010:
Mahram Ali, 50, Wardak, Afghanistan
Mahram Ali worked as a watchman at NOOR’s maintenance workshop since the end of 2007. He stayed guarding the vehicles in Nawa when the rest of the team walked over the pass into Nuristan. He leaves behind a wife and 3 children, at primary school age and below.
Cheryl Beckett, 32, Ohio, USA
Cheryl Beckett was working as an aid worker in Afghanistan since 2005 and had been involved in community development with a focus on nutritional gardening and mother-child health. She had been asked to assist the medical team as a translator for women patients. Cheryl was a Pashto speaker who worked in a clinic in Pul-e Charkhi on the outskirts of Kabul. She is survived by her parents and 3 siblings.
Daniela Beyer, 35, Chemnitz, Germany
Daniela was a linguist and a translator in German, English, and Russian. She also spoke Dari and was learning Pashto. She worked for between 2007-2009 doing linguistic research and joined the eye camp so that she could translate for women patients. She is survived by her parents and 3 siblings.
Brian Carderelli, 25, Pennsylvania, USA
Brian Carderelli was a professional free-lance videographer. Brian served a number of other organizations in Afghanistan active in development and humanitarian efforts throughout the nation. Brian quickly fell in love with the Afghan people and culture and hoped to stay within the country for another year.
Jawed, 24, Panjshir, Afghanistan
Jawed was employed as cook at the Ministry of Public Health’s Eye Hospital in Kabul and had been released from there in order to attend the Eye Camp. He leaves behind a wife and three children below school age. Besides being the team’s cook, he also assisted with the dispensing of eyeglasses. Jawed had been on several eye camps into Nuristan in the past, and was well loved for his sense of humour.
Dr Tom Grams, USA
Dr Tom Grams was a dentist and personal friend of Dr Tom Little and had come to Afghanistan specifically for this trip to Nuristan.
Glen Lapp, 40, Pennsylvania, USA
Glen trained as an intensive-care nurse and worked in Lancaster, New York City City and Supai, Arizona, and had previously worked in the responses to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He came to Kabul in 2008, and initially worked in the HQ. Then after 5 months of Dari language training he began his work with NOOR, he was responsible for organising the mobile eye camps that reached the remote areas of Afghanistan.
Dr Tom Little, 61, from New York, USA
Tom was affectionately known as “Mister Tom” amongst the many staff at the National Organisation for Ophthalmic Rehabilitation (NOOR). He arrived in 1976, with his family, and worked as an Optometrist and Manager at NOOR, setting up clinics and ophthalmic workshops. He was much loved by both foreigners and Afghans, and was the inspiration for other IAM team members coming to Afghanistan. Tom leaves behind his wife and 3 daughters.
Dan Terry, 63, Wisconsin, USA
Dan came to Afghanistan in 1971, he had a heart for the rural areas of Afghanistan and worked for many years in Lal-wa Sarjangal. Dan specialised in relating to local communities and liaising with aid organisations and the government to improve services in remote areas. Dan is survived by his wife, 3 daughters, and one granddaughter.
Dr Karen Woo UK
Karen was a General Surgeon who came on the Nuristan Eye Camp to be the team doctor and to bring maternal health care to the communities in Nuristan.
To see photographs of most of these people please go to http://www.iam-afghanistan.org/press_release_2/photos.html