So sad. Louisa Jespersen, 24, from Denmark and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, friends who were on a month-long backpacking trip across Morocco were found decapitated. The Danish and Norwegian victims, students in their 20’s, were discovered by other tourists near the foot of North Africa’s highest peak, Mount Toubkal. Police say there was ‘evidence of violence on their necks,’ while unverified local reports say they had been decapitated.” The murderers recorded a video of the decapitation, but we are not including that video in this post.
It is never a good idea for single girls to travel alone in a Muslim country. Period.
I always loved to travel. Getting married in my 30’s, and living in my childhood home, gave me the ability. Trips to New York for a long weekend to see friends and Broadway shows was my most common route. Miami to escape the winter chills of Montreal. Amazing trips to Israel, often for several months at a time during college summer breaks.
It was in Paris on a trip with my dear friend and college roommate that I was mugged. My purse was stolen along with wallet, passport and camera. A few days later, we continued to Nice. But the glory of the magnificent Riviera beaches were dampened by my fear of being to close to strangers. The memories continue to affect me now so many decades later.
What possibly was my most irrational excursion was while in Israel I decided to take a break from work and went to Egypt. I went with a friend on an organized tour. Although Israel and Egypt had made a peace treaty, it was 1982 during the 1st Lebanon War. I somehow knew the peace between our nations would not last. So I wanted the opportunity to see the Pyramids and Sphinx – that in all likelihood could have been built by Hebrew slaves in. The Valley of the Kings and Queens and Luxor Temple were equally magnificent displays of a brilliance unheard of in modern-day Arabia. The Ancient Egyptians died and so it seems did their ingenuity.
As much as I loved to travel I knew that taking unnecessary risks was being downright stupid. A fair-haired white skinned Jewess should not really travel to certain places. Nowadays, many are even more dangerous.
Why two beautiful Scandinavian women decided to go to Morocco alone is baffling. They decided to backpack and mountain climb without joining an organized group. They could have been harmed by any local animals. But nothing could have been worse than the IS supported beasts who tortured them to death. One hacked, another beheaded. This is, unfortunately, the world we live in.
Crimes have risen across the world as more and more bring tribalistic warfare to our shores. We need to be even more cautious because the fact is that although women going to Morocco is not the best idea, these acts can occur in our own neighborhoods.
Robin Silver Zwiren