It's not even a week since the terrorist attack in Paris and barely hours since the last attack around the world. This is not a response to these latest incidents. That will happen. I've been writing about terrorism for over ten years and the one thing I have learnt is that, whilst the specifics change, the issues, the responses to and attacks by terrorists, remain fairly constant. This piece is about a different kind of terror committed far away from Paris.
And this audio piece is late. Very late. I wrote this short play before Christmas 2014 and rushed it into recording as a response to the attacks on school children in Pakistan and Nigeria. It then got delayed because of recording problems. But the delay it didn't stop being relevant. In many ways it is more relevant now. The use of terrorism against education, targeting children, women and those who want to improve their lives has become increasingly common. Boko Haram, whose name roughly translates as a call for the end to western education, are still at large in Nigeria, having killed thousands of people over the years, whilst the school children they kidnapped last year are still lost. As I type, the dust hasn't settled on their latest attack - where children were used to deliver bombs.
Though the following piece is fiction and potentially set anywhere, it is based on a number of accounts from around the world in the present day.
Be warned: the following piece reflects the horror of what is happening to children around the world and is disturbing and may upset listeners.
Fantasy Terrorist Variation #5: A Little Learning