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Marla Ruzicka
June 7, 2005 9:03 PM   Subscribe

The Girl Who Tried to Save the World. A good article from Rolling Stone on the life and final days of CIVIC Worldwide founder Marla Ruzicka (previously discussed here.)
posted by homunculus (6 comments total)

 
Amazing story. Also, a cautionary tale about the perils of this emotional work. There's some touching streaming video on her as well. Thanks for sharing this, homunculus.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:41 PM on June 7, 2005


An American officer, who knew her, arrived in time to help bundle her into an ambulance. He couldn't recognise what was left of her. A US army medic on the scene told the officer that despite burns to 90 per cent of her body, Ruzicka managed to clamber out of the car, telling him: "I'm alive." She died before she got to hospital.
posted by homunculus at 10:54 PM on June 7, 2005


catch 22 is the backbone of war
posted by philida at 12:11 AM on June 8, 2005


The mental illness is perhaps the most disturbing issue. Is she to be commended for doing important work while overcoming a disability? Or was she irresponsible in taking on a project in a very dangerous place when she knew she had a mental illness? It seems like her story uses the words "hero" and "martyr" a lot, but did her illness affect her judgment, and should one view the situation more critically as a result?
posted by turner13 at 7:08 AM on June 8, 2005


I lived with her for a month when I first moved to DC. We had a friendly-at-the-surface, but strained roommate relationship, and did not stay in touch when I moved out. It was clear that she was dealing with some sort of mental illness or demons, but I had NO idea what was going on. I wouldn't say that I wished her ill at any time.

I can remember her saying, awkwardly, and apropos of nothing, "You know, I think you're really cool..."

This is so much more awful for her and her family and friends, but it's incredibly weird for me to read now...
posted by chinese_fashion at 7:38 AM on June 8, 2005


I admire the idea of what she was doing and hope that her work of getting compensation from the US government for specific civilian injuries is continued in this and future military actions. Her Iraqi colleague Faiz Ali Salim, 43, is described as a former commercial pilot who worked as her driver/translator (and CIVIC's country director?). CIVIC's "journal" section includes some of his reports. The video is nice, giving voice and life to some of her personality as described in the RS article (e.g., her coat, the "nice hair" comment) . Though it's not really the focus of the memorial-style video, the dynamic between her and the older Code Pink ladies, most of whom (unlike Ruzicka) may have been visiting Iraq for the first time, is kind of interesting too.
posted by PY at 9:28 AM on June 8, 2005


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