On 26 November 2005, my friend and mentor Tom Fox was among four humanitarian aid workers taken hostage in Baghdad. By 2 December, Chuck Fager and I assembled the content for a small site responding to the crisis, based on a communication strategy developed by Lisa Schirch of EMU‘s Center for Justice & Peacebuilding.
Our primary goal was to raise the public profile of the hostages through various media channels, and petition for their safety and freedom. The site also coordinated a variety of other links and resources for what became an unprecedented global witness for the peacemakers in Iraq. As time passed, it became a source of daily updates as Chuck and I continued to monitor reports and communications for new information.
On 23 March 2006, Harmeet Sooden, James Loney, and Norman Kember were rescued after 118 days of captivity. Two weeks earlier, the Tom Fox’s body was found, and, with help from Martin Kelley, the site began collecting responses and tributes published on Tom’s memorial page.