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Saturday, September 04, 2004

Zalina's Choice: A Choice I Can't Fathom

From Leaning to the Right. I don't really know what to say about this post. I have no children of my own so I do not know how this would afferct me. I could only imagine the pain and anguish of this mother choosing between her 2 children.

Zalina's Choice: A Choice I Can't Fathom

The terrorists in Russia made mothers choose between their children. Save one; leave the other. Zalina Dzandarova cradles her son Alan as he sleeps with his small face buried against her stomach. He is the child Dzandarova was able to save. The child she chose to save, really. It is the other one, little Alana, her 6-year-old daughter, whose image torments her: Alana clutching her hand, Alana crying and calling after her. Alana's sobs disappearing into the distance as Dzandarova walked out of Middle School No. 1 here Thursday, clutching 2-year-old Alan in her arms. [. . .] Dzandarova had both Alan and Alana with her and made a snap decision to pass Alana to her 16-year-old sister-in-law. But the guerrillas saw through the ruse and refused to allow her to take the older child. "Alana was clinging to me and holding my hand firmly. But they separated us, and said: 'You go with the boy. Your sister can stay here with her.' I cried. I begged them. Alana cried. The women around us wept. One of the Chechens said: 'If you don't go now, you don't go at all. You stay here with your children … and we will shoot all of you.' " She couldn't save both of them. She could only die with both of them — or save one of them and herself. "I didn't have time to think what I was doing," she said. "I pressed Alan even stronger to myself, and I went out, and I heard all the time how my daughter was crying and calling for me behind my back. I thought my heart would break into pieces there and then." Dzandarova cried as she talked. Her tears fell on Alan, who was sleeping. Even when his mother shook quietly with sobs as she cradled him, he didn't awaken. CHOOSE BETWEEN THEIR CHIILDREN! CHOOSE BETWEEN THEIR CHILDREN! CHOOSE BETWEEN THEIR CHILDREN! I have two children. I cannot, with any fiber of my being, imagine a worse situation. I would gladly lay down my own life should it save theirs, but to sacrifice one of my boys for the other? I cannot. I cannot bear the mere thought of such a choice. Walking out of a terrorist siege with one child in my arms and the other crying for me? I can't even see through my tears, and I feel sick to my stomach. UPDATE: Zalina has her daughter back. Amazingly, Alana made it out of the school by clinging to a 15-year-old boy, begging him to take her with him.

10:55 PM Pacific

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