Two more of the people who were killed in the Nairobi attack: Elif Yavuz and Ross Langdon.

Elif Yavuz was a malaria specialist working in Tanzania. The Johns Hopkins News-Letter reports:

This evening, the Hopkins community learned that Elif Yavuz, an alumna of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), was killed in the terrorist attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall this week. More than 60 people, including Yavuz’s partner Ross Langdon, have been confirmed dead so far.

“The entire SAIS community mourns the loss of Elif, who committed her all-too-brief life to serving others around the world. We express our deepest condolences to Elif’s family and friends,” SAIS Dean Vali Nasr wrote in an email to the SAIS community.

Yavuz, a 33 year-old Dutch citizen of Turkish descent, was a malaria specialist working for the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Despite reports to the contrary, she was not employed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Yavuz received her M.A with a concentration in European Studies from SAIS in 2004, spending a year each at both the Bologna and Washington D.C. campuses. Yavuz worked for the World Bank after receiving her degree from Hopkins. Earlier this year, she received her ScD from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

Apparently a good and useful person with a good and useful education, destroyed by theocratic deathmongers.

Plamen Nikolov, one of Yavuz’s classmates at both SAIS and Harvard, reflected on Yavuz’s qualities.

“She was a wonderful human being, a very talented person with a lot of international experience. You know, she was always smiling,” Nikolov said. “So I am incredibly shocked to find out that she was one of the people who was in the mall at that time.”

Nikolov was able to connect with Yavuz in Africa when they both conducted fieldwork in Kenya and Tanzania in 2011 and 2012.

“Other than the fact that it’s a big personal loss, it’s also a huge global loss,” Nikolov said. “She was exactly the kind of person who makes the world a better place by putting a lot of her education into wonderful use, and so it is very, very tragic.”

People who actually are doing something to make the world a better place are a particular loss. Theocrats who murder people are making the world a worse place. Don’t make the world a worse place.

Yavuz’s partner, Ross Langdon, was an award-winning architect.

Langdon studied at the University of Tasmania and University of Sydney before setting up his own architecture firm and basing himself in London.

He had been working on the design of a HIV centre in Uganda before his death, while Dutch-born and Harvard-educated Yavuz was employed by the Clinton Foundation as a Tanzanian-based senior vaccines researcher.

Uncreation. Deletion. Erasure. A bad project.



  1. Shatterface says

    The Guardian is plumbing new depths of stupid in response to the attack:

    The modern urban obsession with celebrity buildings and high-profile events offers too many publicity-rich targets. A World Trade Centre, a Mumbai hotel, a Boston marathon, a Nairobi shopping mall are all enticing to extremists. Defending them is near impossible. Better at least not to create them. A shopping mall not only wipes out shopping streets, it makes a perfect terrorist fortress, near impossible to assault.

    Yeah, people gathering together are just asking for it.

  2. brucegee1962 says

    #3: Bah, all these new “cities” with ther “architecture” and “agriculture” are just asking to be wiped out by floods and plague. Give me good old-fashioned hunting and gathering any time!

  3. says

    The Guardian is plumbing new depths of stupid in response to the attack:

    I’m surprised he didn’t ask what the mall was wearing. Wait…I guess he basically did.

    It might be sensible to discourage like-minded crowds from gathering in one place, be they co-religionists or party faithful or merely the wealthy.

    No. That wouldn’t be sensible. Really not sensible at all.

  4. says

    You’d think that when he was typing those sentences he would have stopped and thought, “Wow. This sounds a little kooky. Perhaps I should mull some of these ideas over for a while before I commit them to print….”

  5. rnilsson says

    @3: Isn’t the irony of “newspaper” Guardian’s name beginning to wear a bit thin?
    @5: Maybe the mall should have worn the Mail? No, also too thin.

  6. says

    From one of the comments:

    I find your dodging of the substantive point of the war on terror creating a succession of failed or failing Muslim states. That same war creating more problems than were there previously. That same war leading to this idiocy where criminal acts are raised to acts of war has failed us all.

    The other aspects you will find are pointing to the futility of the war on terror. Clearly his wit and satire have gone right over your head.

    If it’s satire, it’s not well done. Even if it is intended as satire, t’s not witty. Was it meant as satire?

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