I just read the news that Benazir Bhutto was assassinated a few hours ago and I’m sitting here with a feeling that I can only liken to that of a broken heart.

I remember when she became Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1988. That event followed so much turmoil and tragedy in the Middle East at that time: the Beirut Marine barracks bombing, the hostage crisis, our own government dealings in the Iran-Contra affair. I was 15 at the time and utterly amazed at the accomplishment of a woman in a Muslim country becoming their elected leader. It gave me hope. An incredible and courageous woman not just living through turbulent times, but leading people through them as well.

And despite the overt threats to her life, she returned to her country in an attempt to restore democracy.

I’m looking around this office in which I work, in this middle class, safe neighborhood in which I live, in this life I take for granted every day, and I’m a little hesitant to look myself in the mirror because really, what the hell am I doing with this life when there are people such as her risking it all and eventually giving it all to so great a cause?

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