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Ediacara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-03 12:23 AM
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Bomb blasts hit Spanish hotels | BBC
Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July, 2003, 00:55 GMT 01:55 UK

Bomb blasts hit Spanish hotels

Two bombs have exploded in the Spanish resorts of Alicante and Benidorm, injuring at least 13 people.

The devices went off minutes apart in the Hotel Residencia Bahia in Alicante and the Hotel Nadal in Benidorm, after a warning from Basque separatist group ETA.

British, Russian and Swedish people were among the injured in Alicante. In Benidorm, four police officers were hurt.

A German tourist is reported to be in a coma.

More at the BBC
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ColumbusGirl Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-03 01:16 AM
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1. The Basque Country
I was an exchange student in the heart of Euskera (The Basque Country) in 1987.

There were bombs going off even then, but these stories just break my heart. I stayed in a hotel in Alicante with three of my host sisters when we went on a weeklong holiday over a large portion of the country. Seeing houses built into cliffs in La Cuenta, Windmills in La Mancha and everything in between.

Back in the late 80s, the attacks almost exclusively targeted Spanish police installations and never the general public in places like hotels.

One weekend, on our way to Laguardia, a walled city in the La Rioja wine valley region, we were stopped on the winding mountain roads and approached by uniformed military men carrying machine guns. At the side of the road, a Spanish tank stood menacingly blocking the opposite lane. A man had been carjacked from Zumarraga, (the village I was staying in), tied in the mountains and his car used as a car bomb that had exploded just hours before.

I was a 17-year-old girl from a rural Illinois town of 1000 people and I recall shaking for hours after having the car searched. Id never seen a live machine gun (nor have I since) and Me without my passport but looking "just" Spanish enough not to be questioned.

My host sister Beatrizs reaction had a profound impression on me. She told me matter of factly that I can't let it ruin my life. The chances of something happening to me are very small and you just can't let your life stop. You have to go on.

By the time I left my 8-week Spanish adventure I was able to read about another ETA car bomb without panicking. It was amazing how quickly it became part of life.

I drew heavily on this experience during the aftermath of 9-11. It helped me more than anything else to process what was going on around me. Certainly it was better advice than showing patriotism by shopping.

I still think about it whenever another duct tape warning gets broadcast by the media. My knee jerk reaction always seems to be to fall in with the sheeple and panic. More than anything else, though, thinking about my host family and my Beatrizs simple, practical advice...and seeing it action...has helped to sooth my fears, and given me comfort I cant expect from my government.

In a recent email with my youngest host sister, she told me that she rarely travels to Zummarraga anymore because it has become so extremist and she perceives.dangerous....and all this in a few short years.

It breaks my heart.
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Athame Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-03 01:49 AM
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2. A touching story, ColumbusGirl
I work in Education Abroad for the University of California and actually came to DU in my scanning of news stories around the world. (There have been a number of times that I have picked up events from DU before we got the State Department notices!) Every time something happens anywhere, I read to see if any of "our" students might have been involved...the Moscow theater crisis, the Tokyo earthquake, the Eiffel Tower burning yesterday. We have had students near Israel bombings and in Beijing dorms when SARS quarantine broke out (as well as in Tianamen Square and Indonesia and India during other political upheavals). Every news story is personal now for me, just as you say. It is amazing to understand what people in other parts of the world are going through on a daily basis and how they learn to cope with so much and still live their lives fully and unafraid. I only hope that the experience abroad gives all our students as much perspective and empathy as it has obviously given you. Thanks for posting your story.
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