October 23, 2006


Garen & Carleton

An article in the New York Daily News updates us on Micah Garen and Marie-Hélène Carleton. Micah, former hostage in Iraq in 2004, and his fiancée Marie-Hélène—when's the wedding, guys?—have been busy with promoting and talking about their book American Hostage and the plight of the archaeological heritage of Iraq. As a consequence, finishing the documentary on the looting of sites in southern Iraq (during the shooting of which Micah was taken hostage in the first place!) is taking longer than originally planned. "The last two years also have been a bittersweet time for the couple, with the violence in Iraq showing no signs of abating. 'We have no plans to go back,' Garen said. 'The country is far too dangerous for us to go back and do the kind of work we were doing. Maybe at some point in the very distant future.' By spring, the couple hopes to complete their feature-length film for theatrical release. 'It's been put off for a year because of all the work around the book and the book tour,' Garen said. 'We have about 300 hours of footage that we're working through,' Carleton said. When completed, the couple's film may become the only record of some the region's priceless historical artifacts."

By the way, a month ago, the Adnkronos International agency released an article that seems to confirm Micah's version of events of what happened 11 days before he got kidnapped. At the time, he made public that Italian soldiers in Nasiriyyah had without justification shot at an ambulance, killing people in it (see Yahoo! News). This was vehemently denied by the Italian commander at the time.

• "Italian military deny having turned back US reporter kidnapped in Iraq," in Yahoo! News, online, August 16, 2004
• "Italy: 3 Soldiers Charged With Iraq Ambulance Shooting," in Adnkronos International (Italy), online, September 14, 2006
• P.H.B. Shin, "Heady days for Iraq captive," in Daily News (New York), October 22, 2006


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