Our friend Dr. Jacqueline Kirk, killed in AfghanistanAn important friend of our laboratory, Dr. Jacqueline (Jackie) Kirk, 40, was killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 13, 2008 while working for the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
Announcements from McGill University and IRC:
McGill University IRC
According to annoucments by English and Canadian news agencies, while driving home Dr. Kirk's vehicle came under heavy gunfire, killing three aid workers and their driver. They had spent the past two days meeting with the local community about an IRC project that aids children with disabilities.
She visited Japan for one year with her husbund Dr. Andrew (Andy) Kirk who worked in our laboratory as a research fellow from 1992 to 1993. During her stay in Japan, she grew interested in Japanese culutre and interacted with the local community and our laboratory.
Prof. Andrew Kirk learned of the news in the morning following his return from a trip to Japan to give an invited talk at International Conference in Switching 2008, Aug. 4-7, in Sapporo and also to visit to our laboratory on Aug. 11.
It must be a very difficult time for him. I am unsure of how to help in such a tragic situation.
Jacqueline was a quite active person, in particular she had a keen interest in education. She had wide experience working with aid organizations such as Unesco and Unicef in troubled areas of the world. When she stayed in Japan, she was intent on developing a deep understanding of Japanese culture and also sharing her insights abroad. She was a good friend of Japan and helped foster the understanding of Japan internationally.
It was so shocking and deeply saddening for us to hear the tragic news about her. I don't have any words to express our thoughts. We would like to express our respects for her efforts for education in troubled areas during her life. In addition, we would like to express our sincere condolences to Prof. Andrew Kirk and his family.
Masatoshi ISHIKAWA, University of Tokyo