This weekend I watched “A Mighty Heart”, the movie about the horrible kidnapping and search for Wall Street journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan. I had already read the book, written by his courageous (and pregnant!) French wife, Marjane Pearl, who is also a journalist. I thought the movie, with Angeline Jolie and Dan Futterman in the main roles, was well worth seeing – intense and calm at the same time. Since I and, I assume, most of the people who have seen it, knew the ending, the reason for watching such a film is to see how the search goes about, and how the people are coping with it. Marjane Pearl (the movie is based on her memoires) comes across as incredible strong and calm, even though her life is falling apart when the terriorists send the video of the beheading.
I also thought it was fascinating to get behind the scenes of a news story I followed while I lived in the US in 2002.
But at the end of the movie I read a little note about “The Pearl Project“, which I hadn’t heard about before. Apparently, it was a journalism course offered at Georgetown University in 2007, initiated by Asra Q. Nomani, who was a close friend of Daniel Pearl, and is also heavily featured in the movie. The search for Pearl took place in her house in Karachi, where Daniel and Marjane lived. “For the five years since Danny was killed, I have wanted to find out the full truth behind Danny’s kidnapping and murder”, says Nomani at Georgetown University’s website. There is also a Daniel Pearl Foundation, which mission is “to promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music, and innovative communications.”
I’m wondering if the Pearl Project at Georgetown came any further in the investigation of what really happened to Daniel Pearl, and who ordered his killing. And is the seminar still taught?