The Pen is Mightier

May 18, 2011

Dorothy is safe!

And she’s writing.

You MUST read her account of her experience in Syria.

Yes, it will reveal my immiment babbling for the immature navel-gazing it truly is, but HOLY GOOD GOD I can’t believe what she went through, and now she’s getting out the story about the suffering of the Syrian people.

Read it!!!



May 5, 2011

When I moved to Seattle to live with Herbie, the first order of business was meeting his large group of friends.  They were all rather intimidating – loud, loyal, and joined at the hip – many of them successful journalists.

One of those writers was Dorothy Parvaz.

You may have heard of her – she’s currently missing in Syria.  Well, not missing, I guess – they’ve admitted they have her in detention.  But nobody has been able to talk to her, nobody knows whether to believe Syria’s definition of “safe,” and nobody knows when she will be released.

Can you imagine that?  Can you imagine your friend, your daughter just – poof! – gone missing in a country rocked by violence on the other side of the world?  I can’t even fathom what her family and her fiancee are feeling right now.

Mostly, they’re working their asses off to get her the hell outta there.  Although I’m sure there’s a part of her that would prefer to just be released, thank you very much, and go about her intended business, reporting on what’s really happening in Syria.

Even after knowing Dorothy a few years, I never did entirely stop feeling intimidated.  She’s crazy-smart (like, Harvard fellowship-smart), wickedly funny (emphasis on the wicked), and so thoughtful and insightful that sometimes, listening to her, my jaw actually dropped.  She was always the one perched on the couch with a glass of wine, silently smirking at our silliness, waiting for just the right moment to drop the perfect zinger.

She’s the kind of woman who comes across as hard-as-nails at first.  But you can’t be so gifted at writing and reporting without vast stores of compassion.  I got a lovely sample of that compassion recently when she sent me a message after Judy died.  Of all the messages of condolence I received, hers has stayed with me the most because it actually made me feel better – and that’s a damn hard thing to do after the death of a friend. 

Dorothy’s the kind of person you want writing and reporting the news.  She’s the kind of person driven to go to Japan to report on the devastation of the tsunami, and then to Syria in the middle of a violent uprising, because her cause is a noble one – tell the story.  Get it out there.

And now her friends are getting her story out there.  I hope by the time I post this, she’s already on a plane home.  But just in case, please help.  What if it was your friend, your sister, your fiancee?  All you have to do it send a (courteous) email to the Syrian embassy, asking for Dorothy Parvaz’s release.  Send an email to

Thank you very much.