Voices of the Victims featuring panelists Michael Gallagher, Ashraf al-Khaled, Sammy Nganga Ngatiri, Azamat Sabanov, and moderated by Jerry White.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted a two-day conference featuring high-profile leaders, experts, and opinion-makers to develop a shared international agenda for protecting civilians from terrorist violence. In addition to examining government responses and legal structures, the conference considers how local communities and international partners can transform the enabling environment that can intimidate local actors into silence or acquiescence. Topics include the impact of new media tools, changes in international humanitarian law, the evolution of terrorist tactics, the proliferation of suicide bombings, and innovative approaches to protecting civilians- CSIS
Ashraf al-Khaled, known as the "Groom of Jordan," lost his father and father-in-law during a deadly suicide bombing attack at his wedding reception in November 2005. Seventeen people died in the blast, which ripped through the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman. He and his bride suffered minor injuries. Since the attack, al-Khaled has spoken out as a victim of terrorism in his home country and in the United States. He underscores how terrorist groups like al Qaeda continue to manipulate Islam to commit evil. He questions the use of civilians as targets, asking what the aim of such attacks is.
Michael Gallagher lost his only son, Aiden, in the largest terrorist bombing during the 30 year Troubles in Northern Ireland. The attack took place in Omagh, County Tyrone on August 15, 1998, just four months before the Good Friday agreement was signed. Since the deadly bombing, which killed 29 people, Gallagher has been a staunch advocate of promoting peace. Working with a support group of those who also lost loved ones, Gallagher has demanded legal repercussions against the attackâ€™s perpetrators, Real IRA. He attended two international conferences for victims of terrorism in Spain and Colombia, and works with his wife and two daughters to preserve the memory of his son and to help other victims of terrorism.
Sammy Nganga Ngatiri
Sammy Nganga Ngatiri is a Kenyan citizen and victim of the August 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. After completing his secondary education, Ngatiri has worked for the Kenya Commercial Bank and as a private businessman. During the bombing, Ngatiri was renting an office at Ufundi Co-operative House next to the embassy. Since the attack, he has experienced little joy from cheating death so narrowly. However, he has dedicated himself to educating the world about the impact of terrorism on civilian targets worldwide. He notes that the fight against terrorism starts with the individual.
Azamat Sabanov is the son of a former headmaster of School Number One in Beslan, in Russia's North Caucasus, where terrorists took 1000 children and their parents hostage in a three day seige in September 2004. His father and over 300 others perished following the storming of the school by the Russian authorities. Most of the victims were children. Since the attack, he has become a critic of the Russian Federation's emergency response approach, presenting his case as part of delegations from Beslan to President Vladimir Putin and others. Sabanov has also been involved in managing the distribution of humanitarian assistance to the citizens of Beslan in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Jerry White is co-founder with Ken Rutherford of the Landmine Survivors Network (LSN). While hiking with friends from Hebrew University, Jerusalem in April 1984, he stepped on a land mine. He learnt to walk with a prosthesis following five operations at a Tel Aviv hospital. Before he began the LSN, White had been an activist campaigning against weapons of mass destruction and had been interviewed or published in newspapers and journals such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the New Republic. He has been Assistant Director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, an editor for the award-winning publication Risk Report and in the late 1990s served on the Board of Directors of the Amputee Coalition of America. He has testified before the United Nations and the United States Senate. In addition to his degree from Hebrew University, White holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.