When the bomb went off, I hadnt thought it was a bomb. I thought it was a crane dumping materials, or my neighbor doing house work.
At 8:03 this morning I was sipping a cup of coffee watching BBC World News. I was wondering if I should go into work or not as I felt a little tired and it was friday after completing a big project.
I put down my cup of coffee and picked up my yogurt when I heard a loud boom. I looked out my windows but couldnt see anything. I went back to my breakfast and BBC, the light above my bed swaying slightly. Must have been my neighbor and landlord doing work.
As I left my apartment interesting things began to occur. The history museum near where I live has a hill behind it where the military always has guards posted. In the late 1990’s a group took over the ground while trying to take over Khujand and succeed from Tajikistan. This hill had about 20 guards standing on top of it. And as I was driven down the side streets away from the river and towards Panchshanbe the main market, I saw two ambulances rush by.
As it was morning, and the commute was on, I just figured there had been a traffic accident. People all over the market were going to and for as they normally did. When I got to the office few people were there.
It wasn’t until after I had sat down that I found out. As I plugged my computer in to start work, Boris walked up to me.
“Sam, ты знаешь?” (do you know?)
“Do I know what Boris.”
“Bomb, you didnt hear it?”
My heart stopped. I had jokingly thought that maybe it was a bomb, or the army testing something, but I never thought that it might actually be a bomb.
This is all still unfolding, and as I hope is abundantly clear, I am fine.
The information is still coming in, but what is known is that there was a suicide bomber of some sort (either in a car or walked in), and he blew up the anti-organized crime divison of the police HQ for Norther Tajikistan. So far counted 1 is dead and 30 are wounded. The death toll is expected to rise, and the building is still on fire. I have been reading a lot in russian, because english language news dosent seem to care as much about it. (except African Reuters)
I have promised my girlfriend, and if I had talked with my mom I am sure I would have promised her, that I will be extra safe. I do not feel like I am in danger, and actually am more saddened for the lose of life experienced today, and the idea that many will have that this country is violent and stupid (as per an earlier post). I will take photos at a later date, not today. And knowing the community I now live in, this weekend, will be one of remembering and sorrow.
But it brings home a point that you experience a lot when doing development work. The poorest places are usually the most violent and dangerous. Poverty breeds desperation, and that can lead to violence.
If you look at the places that many would say are the most dangerous in the US, the poorest areas come to mind.
I will be safe, and not reckless, and the two organizations here have already stepped in to ensure that safety (i was driven to work today, when I usually walk). And if I feel unsafe at anytime I will leave. But I dont think that will happen, after all I still have my coffee to finish, BBC world news to watch, and new friends who watch out for me all the time.