Remembering December 26, 2004

I was in Johor Baru, the capital city of the southern most province of peninsular Malaysia, for a friend’s wedding, when the tsunami slammed into coastlines on all sides of the Indian Ocean. Today, people in many towns and cities, not the least of them Banda Aceh, which lost about 190,000 people to the wave, are remembering the tragedy.

I was safe, with the giant island of Sumatra blocking the wave, and was far away from the west coast anyway, but the earthquake and tsunami still affected my life, changing the course of the rest of that year in Malaysia and beyond. But the effect on me was minute compared to the families, entire communities, that bore the physical and lasting pains of death and devastation.

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