I plan to post a few bits and pieces about the conference last weekend, if I get around to them.

One item…Saturday afternoon between the sessions and the evening events, Taslima and I went outside to the pool area to talk. We found a nice table under a tree and sat there in the shade gabbing away…and after we’d been there a good while a woman came up to us. I was thinking she was someone attending the conference who wanted to greet Taslima, but no – she was part of Taslima’s security detail, come to ask what her plans were for the evening and how to find her or (while she was on a break) another officer.

She was very…I’m not sure what to call it. Very firm, calm, fit – soldierly, you might call it. I liked her.

I wanted to post about it at the time but didn’t; I waited until we were all long gone.

I hadn’t noticed any security before that day, but at the start of the afternoon sessions I got off the elevator and approached the hall and there were two burly guys with guns at each side of the doorway.

All weekend I kept reminding myself not to mention that Taslima had decided to join me on the Niagara Falls trip until after it was well over.

We live in strange times.


  1. luzclara says

    Strange indeed. But good to know that someone is on the lookout, I guess. Under the highly strange circumstances.

    One time in Mexico City a friend invited me to join her on a touristic excursion. When she arrived, she sent her “driver” to the door to fetch me. And as we got in the car his coat swung open and there was a sidearm, in a shoulder holster. He had another holster w/a gun strapped to his leg under his pants. I confess that I looked him over carefully once I saw the first gun. A few months later her husband was the subject of a “warning kidnapping.” (As in fly fishing, catch and release, with a message for his boss to stop doing something)

    Strange and creepy.

  2. John Morales says


    Ophelia, it was obvious to you.

    But you are not everyone.

    So, I want to make it clear that my commendation of you is a side-effect*, and what I want to commend is that lack of obliviousness and the consequent necessary accommodation you exhibited.

    * Nonetheless real.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    I’m glad that Ms Nasrina has bodyguards – but curious as to who pays for them. CFI? FBI?

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    Oops – a double correction to my @ 5: I’m glad that Dr. Nasrin has bodyguards…

  5. says

    Well, I’m glad she saw the falls, anyway (and you, too). Figure life in exile and under a death threat has to be a pretty lousy deal, so it’s nice to hear she can at least do stuff like this now and then.

  6. says

    She’d already seen the falls – three times. She went there with Tom Flynn in ’93…? ’93 or ’94. She’d been to the American side once and the Canadian side twice. She told me she went on this trip only because it was a chance to hang out.

    She’s done a lot of traveling and landscape-seeing. All of which is a good poke in the eye to the people who threaten and hassle her.

  7. Donnie says

    @9: Ophelia : seconded. Good for CFI. I donated a token amount (for me) for Taslima. I need to donated sone extra to CFI at least to cover the security detail.

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