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British female blogger killed by Taliban in Afghanistan

Karen Woo, the British doctor killed in Afganistan All weekend I have read the reports on Karen Woo, the British doctor who was murdered (along with eight aid workers) by the Taliban in a remote part of Afghanistan, and I am mesmerized by her story.

This is woman described by others as an ‘amazing lady’ with ‘tremendous enthusiasm’ and someone who was due to marry in two weeks.

I am mesmerized by her story because of the blog she kept, which is still up and running at, because it gives an incredible insight into the life and struggles of this woman.

We get a glimpse into a woman who was clearly passionate about what she was doing. She said ‘the loss of nearly all elements of the infastructure of a country, security, governance, education, transport, clean water, sanitation and power, are all visible in the health of the people. The things that I saw…made me, as a doctor, want to be able to bring back the human stories both good and bad.”

However, we also see her struggles as a female in a war torn country and her human qualities, as she talked of the tortoise and kittens she looked after in her garden.

She talked of nail varnish worries..July 12“I’m in the shower at home and I’m contemplating the negative impact of taking nail polish on a medical expedition into a remote mountanious area of Afghanistan. Ridiculous I know but several tense minutes were spent thinking through the consequences of blonding with the women of the village over Crimson Lake or Buttercup baby…”

And she talked of time spent rummaging through the market stalls for clothing. She said “Being all so last minute I’ve got a ball gown being made in Qualai Fatullah and some ethnic tops I wanted for the trip. I probably shouldn’t be worrying about a ball gown right now, but still, what’s a girl to do?

She worked with the wife of a former ambassador to Kabul last year on producing a fashion show to raise money for Afghanistan. Bridget Cowper-Coles told The Sunday Times: “She volunteered her services quite late on and really pulled the show together. I just can’t tell you what an amazing lady she was, so kind..”

After reading all the accounts of Karen Woo’s life and so tragically her death, it seems such a terrible waste of life- through reading her blog you feel in some way you know her, her struggles and her thoughts…

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