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Jakarta Post

Urban chat: Grief and fame, channeled into education

  • Lynda Ibrahim

Jakarta   /   Sat, March 24 2018   /  12:44 am

The largest natural disaster in recent history happened not too long ago and not too far away — the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004, where the majority of more than 200,000 casualties were Indonesians in the province of Aceh and on Nias Island. Kofi Annan, then the United Nations secretary-general, wrote of momentarily wondering where the people were among the miles-long debris before sinking into eerie realization that most people there hadn’t survived.Before news footage from Indonesia started spreading, the world learned about the tsunami from Thailand, where many of the victims happened to be foreign tourists. Two of them were Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova and British photographer Simon Atlee, whose romantic getaway was destroyed when the ocean roared and engulfed them. Petra clung to a tree for hours before being rescued. Simon wasn’t as fortunate.In the years that foll...