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October 16, 2006

Susan Hirsch to Discuss Her Book on Terrorism and Grief Nov. 29

Anthropologist Susan F. Hirsch will discuss her new book, “In the Moment of Greatest Calamity: Terrorism, Grief and a Victim’s Quest for Justice,” at the Library of Congress at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 29, in Room 119 in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event, which is sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, is free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

On Aug. 7, 1998, bombs exploded at U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Hirsch, who was running an errand inside the embassy at Dar es Salaam, survived the blast. Her husband, Abdurahman Abdulla, who was waiting for her outside, did not. The two blasts killed more than 200 and injured 5,000.

Hirsch worked through devastating grief with the help of friends and families on two continents and by observing the mourning rituals of her husband’s community in Kenya. After the alleged bombers were captured and sent to New York to stand trial, Hirsch also witnessed firsthand the attempts of America’s criminal justice system to handle terrorism through the law. In her book, Hirsch tells her story on many levels: personal, anthropological, legal and political.

An associate professor at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, Hirsch wrote her book in 2002-03, when she was on a Rockefeller Fellowship in Islamic studies at the Library’s Kluge Center.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers tostimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policy-makers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit

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PR 06-198
ISSN 0731-3527

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