On January 12, 2002 four strangers, brought together by the fact that each of them had lost a close relative on 9/11, arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan and were met at Bagram airport by a young, beautiful, dynamic woman. She was there under the auspices of Global Exchange, a non-profit organization in San Francisco created by Medea Benjamin. The young woman was in Afghanistan specifically to work towards bringing the world’s attention to the plight of civilian casualties created by the US in its War on Terror. That woman was Marla Ruzicka.
She was a whirlwind, seemingly in 3 different places at the same time. She was lovely, charming, friendly and effective, and everyone loved her.
We four, Derryl Bodley, Eva Rupp, Kelly Campbell and Rita Lasar met people from every walk of life during our 2 week stay, all meetings arranged by Marla.
She moved on to Iraq after the US invasion of that country for the same reason. As she once told me, I am going there to make our country acknowledge and take care of those we hurt.
A roadside bomb killed her on April 16, 2005, along with her translator Faiz Ali Salim.
She was amazing and represents the essential characteristics needed for a peaceful world.
We miss her and always will.