Further research has revealed approximately twelve individuals authored the journals I have in my possession. Seven seem to be the elders, Aerin Qasim, Bogdan Kozlov, Deek Jorgensen, Maktan Sirhan, Constable Kyle Kittelty, Lourdes Jorgensen, and John Smith. In addition, Constable Kittelty has some chilling notes possibly written by a serial killer he was hunting. Writings from the following generation are from Hailee Kittelty, Lachlan Thorpe, Kitty Ermani and a few others I have not identified yet. From my brief overview so far, some of the journal entries carry a tone of warning whereas most tell stories of everyday struggle. I am working to discover if these people knew one another. If so, were their connections of significance?
I’m choosing to start with Aerin Qasim’s journals. As a small boy, he is blissfully unaware of the poverty-stricken conditions of his township in Iran. Plenty of familial love and the freedom to learn and explore the outdoors, Aerin is like any other nine-year-old boy. That is until his safe, comfortable world begins to fall apart. It tells of Aerin in school being subjected to al Qaeda fundamentalism until a much larger force interrupts their lesson.
“Death to the infidels!” I screeched. I longed for my papa.
Still louder the al Qaeda soldier yelled. “I am Abu Jandal! I am the killer! I am the killer of infidels! Abu Jandal!”
All of us children screamed the Arabic nickname for ‘the killer.’ “Abu Jandal!”
“I am Abu Jandal!”
“I am Abu Jandal!”
Suddenly a siren began to wail. I remained frozen. Al Qaeda and the militant leader’s drills were quickly forgotten. Almost instantly the al Qaeda soldier had disappeared out the classroom door with his over-sized gun. I could hear our teacher shouting, but the yelling seemed very, very far away. All that mattered was the deafening siren. Danger was upon my country, my city, my schoolhouse. Other small boys scrambled about and bumped into me as they raced for the exit. I could feel the blood pumping in my ears. In the distance I was sure I heard someone yelling my name. However, my feet would not move . . . that is, until the first bomb hit. The ground beneath my feet shook violently. Windows shattered sending shards of glass in all directions. I was dropped to my knees.