Fowler notched his 130 days in al-Qaida captivity on his belt. He was held in north Africa in 2008-09.
Credit Courtesy of Robert Fowler
Former Canadian diplomat and U.N. envoy Robert Fowler (center, front row) was kidnapped in 2008 by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and held for more than four months. He says al-Qaida's recent rise in Mali should be seen as a serious threat to Western interests.
For all the verbiage about al-Qaida over the past decade, only a tiny number of Westerners are actually speaking from firsthand experience. Robert Fowler, a former Canadian diplomat and U.N. envoy, is one of them.
In December 2008, Fowler and a U.N. colleague were traveling through a remote stretch of southwestern Niger, near the border with Mali, when gunmen forced them from the road.
Chris Bram is the author of the novel Gods and Monsters.
Gore Vidal was famous for his hates: academia, presidents, whole portions of the American public and, most notably, Truman Capote. Yet he could be incredibly generous to other writer friends. He wrote beautiful, appreciative essays about Tennessee Williams and Dawn Powell.
He was a man of many facets and endless contradictions.